Mobile Pantries: Taking the Food to Where it’s Needed Most

The Second Harvest Mobile Pantry Program is an ambitious project that delivers food to areas of South Louisiana without access to grocery stores and food pantries.

“Every week, our Mobile Pantries bring thousands of pounds of much-needed produce, meat, dairy and other products to under-served areas,” according to Second Harvest Director of Programs and Services Kimberly Krupa. “We have a specially-designed truck that allows for easier delivery and offloading of the food when we arrive at a distribution site.”

Mobile Pantries take place five days a week at local churches, community centers and other public places across the 23-parish Second Harvest service area. This program is only possible thanks to the generous support of corporate donors such as Amerigroup.

“Research has shown that across Louisiana, one out of every six households struggle with hunger, and one in every five Louisiana children is at risk of going hungry,” said Dr. Raymond Poliquit, medical director for Amerigroup Louisiana. “Hunger and health go hand-in-hand, so we understand that if we want to be successful in improving health across our state, we have to enable access to food and nutrition that promotes healthy living.”

Recently, a Second Harvest Mobile Pantry delivered fresh produce and other staples to Mary’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Varnado, a rural area in Washington Parish. Many of those waiting in line hours before the pantry opened were senior citizens on limited incomes who often have to choose between bills, medicine and food.

Washington Parish is one of the poorest in the state, and Rev. Louis A. Smith says the regular Mobile Pantries are a “Godsend” to local community members.

“I’m grateful for Second Harvest and sharing with this great event, because it’s such a blessing. The people are so happy with it, many of them leave with tears in their eyes after they receive the food.”

If you would like to learn more about our Mobile Pantry Program, contact Kimberly Krupa at kkrupa@secondharvest.org or 504-729-6330.

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