Kraft Foods Foundation and Feeding America, the nation's leading hunger-relief organization, are rolling out 10 new mobile pantry vehicles to food banks across the country. The goal? To deliver 9 million pounds of fresh produce and mealtime staples to families in our nation's food deserts – urban and rural areas where residents have limited access to grocery stores and emergency food assistance.
Now in its third year, the Kraft Foods Mobile Pantry program has so far delivered 33 million pounds of food to our neighbors in need as part of this 3-year, $4.5 million partnership with Feeding America. By adding 10 trucks to the fleet this year, they will reach even more people with an additional 9 million pounds of food. Over the course of three years, the goal for the entire fleet of 25 trucks will be to deliver 50 million meals.
"The mobile pantries are uniquely designed to help food banks expand their reach and bring food assistance to underserved areas," said Nicole Robinson, Vice President, Kraft Foods Foundation."With a diverse selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy and protein, the trucks deliver a good mix of nutrition and help close the gap for our neighbors in the nation's food deserts."
One of the highlights of summer is the delicious produce that makes its way from neighborhood gardens and farmers' fields to tables. But for our neighbors living in food deserts, produce may be hard to come by. And for families struggling to make ends meet, fresh produce can be too costly.
The 10 beverage-style refrigerated trucks -"farmers'-markets-on-wheels" - bring clients fresh fruit, vegetables, protein and dairy products that are especially important for good nutrition and often missing from the diets of low-income families. Feeding America has a goal of increasing the amount of produce in their network to 1 billion pounds over the next five years. With a focus on bringing more produce to more people, vehicles like the Kraft Foods Mobile Pantries help deliver on that goal.
Each truck stops at neighborhood food pantries, churches or school parking lots an average of 120 times a year. Families and individuals are invited to select food as they would at a farmers' market – produce like fresh lettuce, crunchy apples, crisp green beans, and other meal-time staples such as Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Oscar Mayer meats.
This year, the program is rolling out in Columbia, Mo.; Fredericksburg, Va.; Fort Pierce, Fla.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Lafayette, Ind.; Orlando, Fla.; Salt Lake City; San Diego; Spokane, Wash.; and Springfield, Ohio.
"Mobile pantries are critical to getting more fresh foods to people in low-income communities," said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America."Many of our clients live in food deserts or neighborhoods where opportunities to purchase healthy, affordable groceries are scarce. Kraft Foods Foundation's generous gift will allow our food banks to provide fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy products to more people in need."
Unprecedented Demand for Help
The state of the economy is affecting more Americans than any other time in recent history. The US Department of Agriculture reports that one in six Americans is food insecure. And, Feeding America reports a 46-percent increase in the number of people seeking emergency food assistance through their nationwide network compared to four years ago. To put it another way, the Feeding America network is serving one million more people each week.
Fighting hunger is not new for Kraft Foods. The company and its foundation have partnered with Feeding America for decades to do just that. Most recently, the Foundation reinforced its commitment by donating $180 million over a three-year period to community involvement activities around the globe. The mobile pantry program is one of many programs making a difference in communities where the company's employees live and work.
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
The company and the Kraft Foods Foundation have donated more than $1 billion in cash and food to hunger-relief organizations over the past 25 years. Through support of partners, including Save the Children, Feeding America, INMED Partnerships for Children, Charities Aid Federation and CARE, the company and Foundation support programs on almost every continent.
Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT) is a global snacks powerhouse with an unrivaled portfolio of brands people love. Proudly marketing delicious biscuits, confectionery, beverages, cheese, grocery products and convenient meals in approximately 170 countries, Kraft Foods had 2010 revenue of $49.2 billion, more than half of which was earned outside North America. Eleven of the company's iconic brands -- including Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia and Trident -- generate revenue of more than $1 billion annually, and 40 have been loved for more than a century. A leader in innovation, marketing, health & wellness and sustainability, Kraft Foods is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index. For more information, visit kraftfoodscompany.com and facebook.com/kraftfoodscorporate