There’s a new truck in our parking lot today, and I mean brand-spanking-new! It’s all thanks to the partnership between Kraft Foods Foundation and Feeding America, the national network of food banks. Of course, we’re not the only ones celebrating. Seven other food banks around the country are also getting a refrigerated 10-bay truck…each of which will start bringing fresh produce, dairy products, baked goods and other items straight to hundreds of struggling families.
This truck represents a unique opportunity for us because none of our other mobile pantry trucks are refrigerated. Now we’ll be able to run mobile pantries directly to agencies outside of our main warehouse’s service area. Since we already run loads up to our branch in Cadillac for them to distribute, the new truck will focus on deliveries in Southwest Michigan – Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. Once the program gets up to full capacity, the truck will stay at our Southwest branch and make four to six deliveries per week, distributing up to a million pounds annually.
While it’s still living at our main warehouse, though, the truck won’t get a break on the way home. Rather than riding back empty, the truck will bring back out-of-state loads dropped off in Benton Harbor (once our Southwest branch relocates from St. Joseph). So Kraft is helping us cut our shipping costs, too!
Never seen a mobile pantry in action? Watch our video on the origins of the mobile pantry concept.