Central Missouri food bank prepares mobile trucks for summer

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COLUMBIA - United Way of Central Missouri and The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri have teamed up to combat Missouri hunger outside the usual brick-and-mortar buildings. 

The Food Bank has used mobile pantries to provide food for those in need for a little over a decade, but they are expanding their reach to new locations this summer. 

There are five locations the mobile pantry has added this summer focusing in on Jefferson City, Indian Hills, St. Martins, Kirksville and Hallsville.

President of United Way of Central Missouri, Ann Bax said the focus on these areas have made a huge impact on families in need already in St. Martins. 

"We know for a fact that about 90 percent of them were new families that had never been served at a mobile food bank. They didn't even know they existed. So we're achieving our goal to find those families who need the food," Bax said. 

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri is currently the largest food bank in Missouri. It services 32 counties. 

Currently one in five children in central and northeast Missouri experience hunger on a regular basis.

Bax believes the United Way partnership with The Food Bank in utilizing the mobile food bank can be a resource to children in need over the summer break. 

"We look for critical needs in the community and they helped us to see based on distribution that we needed to put more food out in Cole County. We worked together to figure out how to address it and I think we've come up with a great solution," Bax said. 

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri provides this food at no charge. The next stop for the mobile pantry is May 20 at the Capital West Christian church in Jefferson City.