Mobile Food Bank expands into Franklin County with support from Stop & Shop Family Foundation
Since 2013, our Mobile Food Bank has been bringing fresh, healthy food directly to underserved communities throughout the region. Everyday a truck loaded with fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, juice, frozen meat, and other perishable groceries leaves our warehouse en route to one of 21 distribution locations in western Massachusetts.
Now, for the first time, that truck is going someplace it has never been before — Franklin County.
On Wednesday, June 13, The Food Bank officially announced the launch of its newest mobile distribution site, in partnership with Greenfield Housing Authority, at Oak Courts in Greenfield. This is the first Mobile Food Bank distribution in Franklin County, where nearly 14,500 people already seek food assistance at our partner meal sites and food pantries.
The continued expansion of the successful Mobile Food Bank program is funded by a $125,000 grant from Stop & Shop Family Foundation. The grant award comes as part of the grocery chain’s Fighting Child Hunger initiative to increase access to nutritious food for children in need of healthier diets.
“Stop & Shop Family Foundation recognizes that a large portion of each county’s neediest children do not have the means to access summer meals due to transportation barriers,” says Arlene Putterman, manager of Stop & Shop Family Foundation. “Therefore, the Fighting Child Hunger grant allows their Mobile Food Bank to add more fresh meals to each site to enhance nutrition for the most food insecure children.”
The launch could not have come at a more important time, as the school year is coming to an end and students are about to begin summer break. This is the time of year with the highest need for emergency food assistance for many families, as kids are no longer benefiting from the school’s free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches.
In our last fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2016 – Sept. 30, 2017), the Mobile Food Bank provided the equivalent of approximately 1,278,000 meals across western Massachusetts. In that same time, it served 26,463 people, of which nearly 9,000 were kids under the age of 18.
“We are very grateful for Stop & Shop’s continued support of our mission to feed our neighbors in need,” says The Food Bank’s Executive Director Andrew Morehouse. “It is through these strong partnerships that we can continue to be a reliable source of healthy food for the hundreds of thousands of people in our region that don’t know where their next weal is coming from.”
Additional funding for the Mobile Food Bank is also provided by C&S Wholesale Grocers, Joy in Childhood Foundation, MassMutual, and Red Nose Day Fund.