The Kraft Foods Mobile Pantry program, now in its third year, has so far delivered 33 million lbs. of food to needy consumers as part of this three-year, $4.5 million partnership with Feeding America. By adding 10 trucks to the fleet this year, they will reach more people with an additional 9 million lbs. of food. Over the course of three years, the goal for the entire fleet of 25 trucks will be to deliver 50 million meals.
"The mobile pantries are uniquely designed to help food banks expand their reach and bring food assistance to underserved areas," said Nicole Robinson, vice president, Kraft Foods Foundation. "With a diverse selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy and protein, the trucks deliver a good mix of nutrition and help close the gap for our neighbors in the nation's food deserts."
The 10 beverage-style refrigerated trucks – "farmers'-markets-on-wheels" – bring clients fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products that are especially important for good nutrition and often missing from the diets of low-income families.
Each truck stops at neighborhood food pantries, churches or school parking lots an average of 120 times a year. Families and individuals are invited to select food as they would at a farmers' market – produce and other meal-time staples, such as Oscar Mayer meats.
This year, the program is rolling out in Columbia, Mo.; Fredericksburg, Va.; Fort Pierce, Fla.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Lafayette, Ind.; Orlando, Fla.; Salt Lake City; San Diego; Spokane, Wash.; and Springfield, Ohio.
The US Department of Agriculture has stated that one in six Americans is food insecure. And Feeding America reports a 46-percent increase in the number of people seeking emergency food assistance through their nationwide network compared to four years ago. The Feeding America network is serving one million more people each week.