Kraft Foods Foundation and Feeding America are rolling out 10 new mobile pantry vehicles to reach those hardest hit with food insecurity – African-American and Latino populations. According to the USDA, one in four families within these groups is considered food insecure, versus one in six in the general population. And the rate for children at risk for food insecurity within these groups is around one in three.
With the help of Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization, and local food banks, this first-of-its kind minority outreach mobile pantry program will deliver food to underserved neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods are food deserts – areas where residents might not have access to grocery stores and emergency food assistance. The mobile pantry trucks will deliver 9 million pounds of fresh produce and mealtime staples to families each year.
"The numbers show us that many African-American and Latino families are struggling to make ends meet and facing significant challenges to putting dinner on the table," said Nicole Robinson, Vice President, Kraft Foods Foundation."By partnering with communities of color, we're delivering the innovation of mobile pantries to families disproportionately impacted by hunger. Stocked with a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy and protein items, mobile pantries help close the gap for our neighbors in need."
The Kraft Foods Foundation Mobile Pantry program is the first mobile pantry program to specifically target outreach to African-American and Latino families disproportionately impacted by food insecurity. The program is rolling out in Columbus, Ga.; Concord, Calif.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Elmsford, N.Y.; Greeley, Colo.; Houston, Texas; Milwaukee, Wis.; Newark, Del.; San Antonio, Texas; and Valdosta, Ga.
The 10 refrigerated trucks -"farmers'-markets-on-wheels" - bring fresh fruit, vegetables, protein and dairy products that are especially important for good nutrition and often missing from the diets of families facing food insecurity.
Each truck stops at neighborhood food pantries, churches or school parking lots an average of 120 times a year. Community volunteers organize the food distributions, while clients 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.
This year's vehicles bring the Kraft Foods Foundation Mobile Pantry fleet to 35 trucks. Over the course of the four year/$6 million partnership, the fleet aims to deliver nearly 70 million meals to our neighbors in need.
"Kraft Foods has been a dedicated partner in the fight against hunger," said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America."By targeting areas with the greatest need, Kraft is helping to bring fresh, nutritious food to African-American and Latino families in locations that are underserved by traditional food-assistance agencies."
Kraft Foods and its Foundation have a long history of fighting hunger and have partnered with Feeding America for decades to do just that. 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.
Kraft Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: 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 2011 revenue of $54.4 billion. Twelve of the company's iconic brands – Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Tang and Trident – generate revenue of more than $1 billion annually. On Aug. 4, 2011, Kraft Foods announced plans to divide and create two independent public companies: a high-growth global snacks business and a high-margin North American grocery business. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2012. 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. Visit kraftfoodscompany.com and facebook.com/kraftfoodscorporate.