Northern Illinois Food Bank realizes that not all of our hungry neighbors have local access to adequate emergency food assistance. Recognizing that limited community resources often hinder the ability of caring people to meet the nutritional needs of many low-income families in their neighborhood, Northern Illinois Food Bank initiated a Mobile Pantry Program.
What is a Mobile Pantry?
The Mobile Pantry is a “traveling food pantry” that delivers nutritious food directly to people in need of food assistance. Working with local community groups or partner agencies, this specially designed NIFB truck delivers meat, produce, nonperishable food and other products to low-income people in communities where hunger needs surpass the capacity of existing food pantry resources.
The NIFB Mobile Pantry enables partner food pantries to offer large amounts of food to their clients without being restricted by inadequate storage, especially refrigerated storage for meat and other frozen food. Furthermore, the Mobile Pantry visits other sites that are easily accessible to needy people, including schools, community resource centers, and housing units in low-income neighborhoods.
How Does the Mobile Pantry Work?
NIFB warehouse staff load the 10-bay Mobile Pantry truck with as much as 10,000 pounds of product. At the pre-scheduled location, the NIFB truck driver and volunteers unload the food onto tables stored in the truck. People in need are able to “shop” around the truck to select the items that best meet their nutritional and personal preferences. A typical mobile pantry visit lasts two hours with nutritious food being distributed to as many as 300 families. Due to the nature of the program, we are unable to provide dates and times of mobile pantry visits. If you are interested in learning when the mobile pantry may be coming to your area, please contact your local food pantry or feeding organization.
In FY 2011, NIFB conducted 357 visits and distributed 2.7 million pounds of food to hungry neighbors!
An Important Link to Providing Nutritious Food
The Mobile Pantry provides a dependable, efficient way to increase protein and other nutritious foods in the diets of low-income people needing food assistance. You can help your hungry neighbors by sponsoring a Mobile Pantry in your community. Whether it’s your civic organization, your church, or your company, your sponsorship will go a long way to helping. See first hand your sponsorship in action by volunteering to distribute food at the Mobile Pantry site. Don't miss this rewarding experience!
Bank of America is a proud supporter of the Mobile Pantry Program.
To inquire about making a financial contribution to the Mobile Pantry program, please contact Hester Bury, Senior Development Officer.