Food For All (Mobile Pantry Program)
Our Mobile Pantry Program directly serves individuals and families in areas of high need. Through our Mobile Pantry Program, a truckload of food is distributed in pre-packed boxes or through a farmer’s market-style distribution. This type of program allows the distribution of food and other resources to underserved areas, using a fast and flexible delivery of rescued food and grocery products which includes meat, produce, and pre-packed bags of hygiene products and other donated items. Food pantries face the public, distributing food to those in need, while providing additional resources and information to those attending.
At our events/lining, individuals are asked to provide their zip code, number of people in that household and how many of these are children. No identification or address is required. Individuals can sign-up to receive information on additional resources available in our area.
Currently, the mobile pantry distribution takes place in the parking lots of Walmart in Dade City and Lowe’s in Zephyrhills. Set-up begins around 8 a.m. with distribution from 10 a.m. to noon. Presently, our program is set in the Eastern Pasco area, providing mobile pantries twice a month. At each event, numbers have steadily increased.
Why are Mobile Pantries needed?
Gaining access to healthy and affordable food can be a challenge for rural residents. Many rural areas lack food retailers and are considered food deserts (areas with limited supplies of fresh, affordable foods).
In rural areas, access to food may be limited by financial constraints or other factors, such as transportation challenges. Rural shoppers may rely on more expensive and less nutritious options, such as those available at gas station convenience stores, or face a long drive to a town with a grocery store that stocks fresh produce, milk, eggs, and other staples.
Some rural residents and households are food insecure, meaning they cannot rely on having access to sufficient affordable and nutritious food at all times. Food insecurity is strongly associated with chronic disease and poor health. Long-term food insecurity can affect learning, development, productivity, physical and mental health, and family life.
The Mobile Food Program is one of the programs in which we are “providing hope and help to those in need”, by distributing thousands of pounds of food, needed hygiene products and additional resources in areas of the community with limited access to needed services. Our goal is to serve 100,000 people in the 12-month period beginning 7/1/2018. Make a Difference, Inc. offers social, economic and educational resources. We seek to improve the quality of life for individuals, by providing hope and help in time of need.