The Harry Chapin Food Bank has received $150,000 grant from Publix Super Market Charities to purchase a new refrigerated mobile pantry truck to support food distributions in under-served communities.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank’s mobile food pantry program, called “Fulfill,” went into high gear in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, with the food bank holding 72 mobile pantries in one month, more than triple the average monthly number. As Southwest Florida continues its long-term recovery from Irma, the food bank intends to organize more mobile pantries.
As part of Publix’s grant award, the food bank will host 48 mobile pantries to serve children. A mobile pantry allows for fast, flexible delivery of food including meat, fresh produce and bread. A mobile pantry can provide food to about 250 families.
“This truck will help us expand our Fulfill program, which has proven especially important since Hurricane Irma,” said Richard LeBer, president and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank. “We are so grateful to Publix for their support, which makes this possible.”
The Harry Chapin Food Bank has a fleet of 17 trucks, which are heavily used in our 6,550-square-mile service area of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties. The oldest truck is 11 years old. The trucks traveled an estimated 280,000 miles in the last fiscal year. That’s more than 10 times around the earth! (24,901 miles) The new truck funded by Publix will replace one of the existing trucks in the fleet.