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Learning About The Mobile Food Pantry

Have you seen the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut’s Mobile food pantry truck? It is absolutely awesome! This past Friday I got the opportunity to see the truck in action for the first time and was amazed by the opportunities created by this truck for the local community.

The truck itself was donated by CL&P to United Way and is one of three in the state of CT. It is a custom refrigerated truck that allows for foods such as meats and vegetables to be brought to locations throughout New London County. How neat!!

A big conversation in non-profits and communities across the country is about ‘food deserts’- or locations with very limited access to grocery stores or limited public transportation to markets selling fresh products like produce, meats and dairy. The mobile food pantry is able to bring foods that need this refrigeration to areas that normally have limited access. It is a unique way to increase the amount of people who are able to have access to fresh, healthy foods.

But the truck itself isn’t all that is needed to bring new food options to our local community. Every time the truck goes out food needs to be sorted, separated and loaded on to the truck. Then when it arrives on site it needs to be set up and volunteers then help distribute the food. It takes a lot of time and man (or woman) power, and once again I got the chance to see how awesome the volunteers we work with are.
The group I met on Friday was from Pfizer, and most of the individuals had already helped out with the truck. They knew the routine and exactly how to keep things running smoothly. It is wonderful to see how much the businesses in our area do to support United Way and the local communities.

The truck and volunteers wouldn’t be able to function without…food!! It was nice to see the different food available to families and individuals, everything from essentials like pastas and cereal to fresh potatoes and onions. Being able to bring fresh produce to these areas is awesome, but couldn’t happen without the donations of the food itself. The truck provides those who come with about a week’s worth of food and at one location can serve more than a hundred households.

Friday was another learning experience for me, and a chance to see how all the puzzle pieces need to fit together for an awesome concept to become a reality.
If you or someone you know needs food, please visit the link below for a list of mobile food pantry distribution sites.

http://www.uwsect.org/mobile-pantry-distributions

Live United and until next time,
Laura