Hunger Where We Live
1 in 6 neighbors living in the 20 counties served by the Freestore Foodbank aren’t always sure from where their next meal is coming. Nearly 100,00 of those are kids. The Freestore Foodbank works with a member network of 260 community partner agencies in those 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to help address the need.
Filling The Gap
In March of 2009, the Freestore Foodbank launched the Mobile Pantry to help serve our friends and neighbors in the more rural areas, where community partner agencies are fewer and far between and where transportation can be an issue.
What A Mobile Pantry Does
The Mobile Pantry is a 26-foot refrigerated truck that has the capacity to carry 10,000 pounds of nutritious food. The refrigeration unit allows us to easily provide meats, fresh produce, dairy and baked goods.
How It Works
Each Mobile Pantry is privately sponsored. A host agency will schedule a Mobile Pantry distribution through the Freestore Foodbank. Each distribution can help anywhere from 150 to 200 families. Host agencies invite individuals to the distribution prior to the event date. Each invitation is intentional.
“Boone County is the second most affluent county in Kentucky,” says Melanie Sperling, Outreach Manager for the Boone County Public Library, who has hosted several Mobile Pantry distributions. “So the poor are really under the radar; many are localized in the Florence area. We track the people who we come across who are severely low-income. They’ve either come to us for help before, or have attended a mobile pantry here in the past. We also reserve a handful of tickets for St. Vincent DePaul to distribute.”
Along with helping to serve communities where there are gaps in service, the Mobile Pantry is also utilized to help support areas affected by emergencies and natural disasters, like tornadoes and flooding.
“I feel blessed that there are things like the Mobile Pantry out there for people who need it,” pointed out a tornado victim who was helped by the Freestore Foodbank. “From the bottom of my heart, I truly appreciated the help that I received.”
The Mobile Pantry has helped the Freestore Foodbank to provide more than three million meals to children and families in need since March of 2009.
Thanks to the generosity of a caring community, we have been able to initiate programs and add services that address the pressing issues related to poverty—issues that ultimately affect us all.
If you want to make a monetary donation to support the Mobile Pantry, please email Mindy Hammer or call (513) 482-7099.