Food bank adds new mobile pantry location

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COLUMBIA - The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri has added a new site to its mobile pantry locations.

Indian Hills Park is where the new mobile pantry will be located on every last Wednesday of the month.

Currently, the food bank has two mobile pantries, which help cover its entire service area.

Lindsay Lopez, the executive director, said the mobile pantries are great ways to get food to those who are food-insecure.

“The premise behind the mobile pantry program is really the opportunity to get into the areas where there is not a bricks and mortar pantry option to help certain people in need,” Lopez said.

According to Lopez, every mobile pantry can hold around 10,000 pounds of food, and just in the month of March, the pantries distributed 90,000 pounds of food.

“We recognize here in Columbia that were not able to distribute enough pounds of food based on what the need actually is so the mobile pantry offers us a really terrific way to identify the location where there is an opportunity to serve people then drive right up to them,” Lopez

The food bank also has other partner agencies that helps it serve the community it cannot reach.

Lopez said the City of Columbia has been a big help in securing the Indian Hills location for the food bank.

“They were very generous to give us this site once a month at no charge, but I think it just speaks to the fact that the City of Columbia. The Parks and Rec Department is just a wonderful collaborator with the food bank,” Lopez said.

The goal for the first mobile pantry at Indian Hills is to distribute food to 350 people. The food bank is also hoping to secure two or three more trucks in the future.