Did you know that Food Finders distributes food to the most rural areas of North Central Indiana through the Mobile Pantry Program? In the fiscal year 2017, Food Finders distributed 1.8 million pounds, or 1.5 million meals, through the Mobile Pantry Program alone. The food truck visits each of the 16 counties in Food Finders’ service area to feed children, families, seniors, and veterans who have no idea where they will get their next meal.

Food Finders’ Chief Operating Officer, Kier Crites Scherger says, “We see and hear stories on a daily basis from clients who fall into this where they earn too much to qualify for federal aid, but still not enough to make ends meet.” Scherger continues, “Although unemployment is low, issues of underemployment, stagnant wages, and rising cost of living are contributing factors to why families continue to struggle. These are the families that are of utmost concern to us. For these folks, programs like the Mobile Pantry, BackPack, and emergency food pantries are the only safety net they can lean on when times get tough.” She goes on to say, “It is our priority to ensure that no one goes hungry and that everyone has access to food. Once their basic needs are met, they can begin to concentrate on the larger issues and rising out of poverty.”

Food Finders’ Mobile Pantry Program directly serves clients in areas where food is needed in an effort to supplement other hunger relief agencies in the community. The Mobile Pantry truck travels around North Central Indiana providing nutritious, perishable and non-perishable food. The truck provides at least 6,500 pounds of food at each distribution, typically enough to serve around 140 families with 40-50 pounds of food. Each truckload includes a variety of products such as frozen meat, canned goods, produce, baked goods, and laundry soap. While the program continues to prove as one of the most efficient methods for the food bank to distribute food, it is also costly. Ensuring a mobile pantry distribution takes place monthly, costs the food bank $18,000 per county.

The 2019 mobile pantry calendar is now open. Food Finders seeks program supporters to bring the mobile pantry to our 16-county service area.

For those interested in sponsoring a mobile pantry or learning more about the program, contact Alex Buckles, mobile pantry coordinator, at 765.471.0062 x 208 or abuckles@food-finders.org. A complete list of upcoming mobile pantry dates, by county, can be found at www.food-finders.org.

 

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