The Mobile Pantry visits remote areas of New London County considered "food deserts," where there is no large, retail grocery store or supermarket and/or where transportation options are limited. Residents are therefore forced to walk long distances to buy food or to purchase it at a higher price at small convenience stores. Also, because the truck is refrigerated, it can keep healthy and perishable items safe and fresh until distribution, allowing us to distribute healthier options to our guests.
Some of the issues around hunger and food insecurity faced by our community, in fact, are addressed through the Mobile Food Pantry program. These challenges are highlighted in Nourishing Change: The New London County Food System Baseline Report, published by United Way in May 2013. The report is the first-ever look at issues of food access, health in the community, and the school and child care environments. Click here to read more about Nourishing Change and download a copy.
The Mobile Pantry is a critical extension of our work to end hunger and food insecurity and of the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center. Distribution sites were determined based on where and when people most at-risk for food insecurity can be reached. The pantry is set up similar to a farmers' market and has a "no questions asked" policy. Particiption in this program does not affect anyone's eligibility in other assistance programs. Click here to view a list of current mobile pantry distribution sites and times.
We are always looking for groups of volunteers to both help prepare food at the Food Center prior to distribution and assist with the Mobile Pantry set up and distribution. Visit our Volunteer page for more information on joining the fight against hunger.
Many thanks to the following funders for their grant support of the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center and the Mobile Food Pantry program:
Bodenwein Foundation, Centreville Bank, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Bank, Citizen's Bank, City of New London Community Development Block Grant, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Dime Bank, Dominion, EFSP – CARES, Emergency Food and Shelter Program, Eversource, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Jewett City Savings Bank, Ledyard Rotary Foundation, Liberty Bank, MDA-UAW Local 571, Mystic Rotary, New London Telephone Employees' CSF, Niantic Rotary, Pfizer Inc. ShopRite, and Swindells Charitable Foundation.