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Kraft Foods Foundation and Feeding America are revving up 10 new mobile food pantry vehicles to reach African-American and Latino populations – those hardest hit by food insecurity.
According to the Washington, D.C.-based USDA, one in four families within these groups is considered food insecure, compared to one in six in the general population. The food insecurity rate for children within these groups is one in three. The Kraft Foods Foundation Mobile Pantry Program is the first of its kind to target specifically these minorities who are affected disproportionately by the hunger epidemic.
In partnership with Chicago-based Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, and with the aid of local food banks, Kraft’s minority outreach program will deliver food to underserved neighborhoods, many of which are food deserts – areas where residents have little to no access to grocery stores and emergency food assistance.
“The numbers show us that many African-American and Latino families are struggling to make ends meet and facing significant challenges to putting dinner on the table,” said Nicole Robinson, VP of Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft. “By partnering with communities of color, we’re delivering the innovation of mobile pantries to families disproportionately impacted by hunger. Stocked with a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy and protein items, mobile pantries help close the gap for our neighbors in need.”
Each of 10 refrigerated trucks, deemed “farmers’-markets-on-wheels,” deliver fresh fruit, vegetables, protein and dairy products to neighborhood food pantries, churches and school parking lots. Community volunteers organize the food distributions, while clients are invited to select food as they would at a farmers’ market.
“Kraft Foods has been a dedicated partner in the fight against hunger,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. “By targeting areas with the greatest need, Kraft is helping to bring fresh, nutritious food to African-American and Latino families in locations that are underserved by traditional food-assistance agencies.”
Kraft’s 10 new trucks will bring its mobile pantry fleet up to 35 trucks total. The fleet aims to deliver nearly 70 million meals over the course of four years.
The new program is rolling out in cities in Georgia, California, Texas, New York, Delaware, Wisconsin and Colorado.