The Food Bank for Westchester was joined by Emmy® award winner and internationally acclaimed kitchen and home expert Sandra Lee on Thursday, February 14 for the launch of the the Food Bank’s new Kraft Mobile Food Pantry. The 26-ft. refrigerated truck, capable of distributing up to 10,000 lbs. of fresh food, has hit the road to bring “a market on wheels” to underserved communities, expanding the reach of the Food Bank. Partnering with the Food Bank in this initiative is Stop & Shop Supermarkets. Stop & Shop held a food drive at its Westchester stores to fill the mobile pantry and hosted the vehicle launch at its newest Westchester store at 610 White Plains Road, Tarrytown 10591.
Sandra Lee is the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. A Food Stamp recipient as a child growing up in Washington State, she has worked on behalf of food banks in New York State and across America as well as other philanthropic organizations to combat the issues of hunger, poverty and homelessness.
“I am committed to ending hunger in America, particularly among children, and I am delighted to help launch the Kraft Mobile Food Pantry. This new initiative will bring fresh, healthy foods directly to those at greatest risk of hunger and food insecurity,” she said. “Many people, including hunger-insecure children, will directly benefit from this outreach program.”
The Kraft Mobile Food Pantry is part of a nationwide fleet being rolled out by Kraft Foods Foundation (now known as Mondelez International Foundation) and Feeding America, the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization, to reach those hardest hit with hunger and food insecurity. This is the first-of-its-kind outreach mobile pantry program to deliver food to underserved neighborhoods. The first stop of the Westchester mobile pantry was at St. Peter’s Church in Port Chester on Saturday, February 16.
“Stop & Shop is pleased to support this Food Bank for Westchester outreach initiative,” said Robert Yager, Senior Vice-President of Operations, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company - New York Metro Division and a Food Bank for Westchester board member. “Stop & Shop has partnered with the Food Bank in other ways to fight hunger, and this mobile food pantry will take the fight directly to those at greatest risk of food insecurity.”
The Kraft Mobile Food Pantry’s refrigeration and freezer units will enable the Food Bank to deliver fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, frozen foods and other nutritious staples. The mobile pantry will bring these healthy foods to Westchester’s hungry residents at a time when the need has never been greater.
“Here in Westchester, an estimated 200,000 residents face hunger and food insecurity,” said Food Bank Chairman of the Board Rick Rakow. “We receive an average of 102,000 requests for emergency food every month – and more people than ever before are seeking food assistance. The Kraft Mobile Food Pantry could not come at a better time to help us increase the number of at-risk people and areas we are able to reach.”
“The mobile pantry truck will increase the reach of the Food Bank for Westchester to help feed more families,” said Leah Bradford, Associate Director, Community Involvement, Kraft. “The trucks are a fresh food oasis, helping reach those who might not have access to emergency assistance. And with a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, families have more options for good nutrition and balanced meals.”