Community Harvest Food Bank has announced a new Farm Wagon mobile pantry stop in Huntington, Indiana, beginning February 6, 2019. Thanks to $5,000 in startup funding from Ceres Solutions, with an additional $5,000 match from Land O’Lakes, the Farm Wagon program will soon begin distributing fresh produce and dairy to food insecure families in Huntington.
The Farm Wagon mobile pantry program has operated since 1999, and currently makes 84 stops every month across nine counties, including stops in Markle. Community Harvest Food Bank’s ten refrigerated trucks visit each location and distribute fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products directly to people in need.
“The opening of this new Farm Wagon location marks an incredible leap forward in Huntington County hunger relief,” said Carmen Cumberland, Community Harvest Executive President. “We can’t thank Ceres Solutions and Land O’Lakes enough for their generosity and partnership. It demonstrates what can happen when farmers, food, and funding come together at a local level to change lives for the better.”
Laurel Mann, who assists in coordinating Ceres Solutions community contributions, expressed gratitude for the farmers and customers who make such donations possible. “It is an honor to represent local farmers, and to work beside local partners to support the good work already being done in the communities we serve. We’re grateful for the team at Community Harvest, and we’re honored to be a part of the project.”
“As a national, farmer-owned cooperative, we are committed to helping the growing number of people who struggle to put food on their table,” said Megan Wolle, Manager of the Land O’Lakes Foundation. “We are proud to partner with our member-owners to strengthen the communities where they live and work.”
During the last fiscal year, more than one-third of Community Harvest Food Bank’s 13.2 million pounds of food distributed was fresh produce. Indiana, a state that ranks in the top ten for agriculture production, produces much more than corn and soybeans. Leading vegetable crops include tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, snap beans, and sweet corn.
“Our mission is to alleviate hunger,” said Cumberland. “But we focus on providing healthy foods because hunger is more than an empty stomach. It’s also lack of proper nutrition. It means so much that we can partner with farmers right here at home to end hunger for good. It truly is neighbors helping neighbors.”
The new Farm Wagon mobile pantry in Huntington will operate on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month beginning February 6, 2019. Individuals and families in need of food assistance should bring a box or container to 1330 South Jefferson Street in Huntington, where the Farm Wagon truck will arrive for 1:00 PM distributions.