Mobile Food Bank
Homegrown Help mobile food banking gets nutritious fresh foods into the hands of impoverished families living in rural and urban communities served by emergency food pantries that don't have enough refrigeration to safely distribute perishable donations.
As the hub of charitable food distribution in the Inland Northwest, Second Harvest's service area spans 26 counties with just over 51,000 square miles of territory. Homegrown Help, offered in partnership with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a faith-based membership organization, uses mobile food banking to meet the nutritional needs of people at risk of hunger in underserved communities.
Mobile food banking makes the most of fresh foods that are donated by growers, grocers and manufacturers. Half of the more than 1 million pounds of donated food Second Harvest distributes each month are fresh products, including milk, meat and produce, which offer healthy choices for clients. The challenge is that most neighborhood food banks were designed to handle dry and canned goods, which once constituted the majority of donations. The agencies struggle to afford updates that would expand refrigeration and freezer capacity to handle increased quantities of fresh products. That's where the Mobile Food Bank program comes into play.
Mobile Food Bank distributions are scheduled in cooperation with partner agencies. Second Harvest uses its refrigerated fleet to truck in the product and volunteers help distribute the food to hundreds of families and seniors who would otherwise be unable to afford many of the nutritious items. Mobile food banking will be a key strategy for getting food to where it's needed most for the foreseeable future.
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