Distributing an abundance of healthy foods through our Mobile Pantry Program
Gaining access to healthy and affordable food can be a challenge for rural residents across West Virginia. Often, rural communities lack food retailers and are considered “food deserts”, which means they have limited supplies and fresh affordable foods.
In rural areas, access to food may be limited by financial constraints or other factors, such as transportation challenges. Rural shoppers often rely on more convenient and less nutritious options, such as those available at a local gas station, or they face a long drive to a nearby town with a grocery store that stocks common staples such as fresh produce, milk, and eggs.
Food insecurity exists in every community in West Virginia, however, those living in rural areas without a nearby grocery store, face a greater risk. We know food insecurity is strongly associated with chronic disease and poor health. Long-term food insecurity can even impact learning, development, productivity, physical and mental health, and family life.
Mountaineer Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry Program has become a vital lifeline in the fight against hunger in West Virginia, directly serving individuals and families in areas of high need. Through this program, a truckload of food is distributed in a drive-thru style with packaged boxes filled with shelf-stable and fresh items. By bringing food straight to the communities that need it, the Mobile Pantry Program is a convenient way to provide food assistance quickly.
The size of a mobile can vary greatly, but on average the program can deliver healthy food to 100-1,000 households with each stop we make. From January 2022 through October 2022, this program has provided food to 112,971 individuals, including 12,139 children. That’s over two million pounds of food distributed and over one million meals!
“I’ve seen elderly and high school aged students with such joy in their eyes after receiving food from the Mobile Pantry,” said Pastor Ken Burkhart of Morgan County. “Several recipients are facing unimaginable hardships and rely on the Mobile Pantry to help them get by. They are always so thankful.”
The Mobile Pantry has become a key program in directly helping families in underserved communities. Through the help of donors and our volunteers, this program is helping reduce hunger by bringing healthy food right to the areas it’s needed most.
Mountaineer Food Bank has proudly offered this robust program for over the last decade and counting. If you’re interested in contributing or learning more about our Mobile Pantry Program, visit mountaineerfoodbank.org/mobile-food-pantry to learn more.