Celebrating a 1st birthday is a big milestone– and this month the St. Louis Area Foodbank is celebrating the 1st birthday of our “Food on the Move” Program!
This innovative, and award-winning program is a direct client service to individuals in areas that have limited access to healthy food and resources. The goal of the program is to meet people where they are on a more regular basis to increase access, help eliminate transportation barriers, and provide product in useful quantities to minimize food waste. The Food on The Move program provides fresh produce and shelf stable items directly to individuals who live in areas that have limited access to grocery stores and/or pantries. At a recent Food On The Move event, one neighbor shared what this offering means to him, “Thank you for coming today. If you look around you can see that we don’t have a grocery store nearby. Anything that we need we have to have a vehicle to get to and I don’t have one so this is extremely helpful because I can walk here from my house. I also like that I can pick and choose what I take because it makes me feel like an actual person to make decisions for myself.”
When we launched this program, we were specifically looking to solve for the challenges described by the neighbor above. As such, we determined the locations this mobile grocery store on wheels would visit by focusing on zip codes that fall into the following criteria:
- Zip code with a food insecurity rate of 30% or greater
- Zip code with a poverty level of 30% or greater
- Zip code with an unemployment of 15% or greater.
- Limited Access points (i.e. pantries, mobile markets) in the area.
We are thrilled that our first year has yielded some incredible outcomes, as well as feedback for our future. That is why we are excited to announce that we are growing our Food on the Move program, and to celebrate it’s first birthday we are celebrating in a few ways. First, what birthday is complete without cake! During our distribution on April 18th everyone who participates will not only celebrate with us (cupcakes will be provided!) but everyone will also get a special goody bag filled with the basics to make a cake of your very own!
Additionally, we will be adding three NEW locations for our Food on the Move program to celebrate! Our mobile “store” will be adding 3 locations to our schedule – High Hill and Elsberry in Missouri and Venice, Illinois. To learn more about all of our Food on the Move locations please visit https://stlfoodbank.org/foodonthemove/
Thank you to everyone who has created, participated and supported our Food on the Move program – we are looking forward to the celebration of providing dignity, respect, food and hope with you for many years to come – and at many more locations!