72 billion pounds of edible food goes to waste yearly. We use 21% of our natural water supply to grow and produce food that will never be eaten. In the United States, there is enough food to feed every single man, woman, and child, and yet still people go hungry.
That means that people don’t actually eat up to 40% of the food we grow, process, and transport. Food is the number one product that ends up in landfills and incinerators.
Across the country, mobile food pantry operations are working to fix this issue. Read on to learn how they are able to feed thousands of people from food that would otherwise end up in the garbage.
What is a Mobile Food Pantry?
Many food banks and food delivery programs across the country make use of a mobile food pantry.
It is basically a mobile food bank that gets hungry Americans the food they need. These food delivery trucks often work in partnership with hunger-relief agencies in a specific area to distribute food.
Sometimes, these portable pantries deliver food in pre-packaged boxes. Other times, they hand out food in a farmers-market-style distribution where clients choose to which foods they wish to take.
Portable food delivery programs work to bridge the gap that prevents underserved areas from getting access to food programs. One of the biggest benefits of food delivery programs is that they allow for fast, flexible delivery of perishable food such as produce, meat, and baked goods.
How Food Delivery Programs Work
As you can imagine, it takes an orchestrated effort to coordinate the gathering of food before it goes to waste. Food delivery programs are time-sensitive because of the perishable foods they collect and distribute.
These programs begin by working with farmers, food service companies, retailers, manufacturers, and distributors to collect food before it goes to waste.
Food delivery programs accept items that are blemished, nearly overripe, distressed, and misshapen. They also accept items that are short coded, items that are edible but not sellable at retail, as well as items in excess.
Donating partners understand that they can call the food truck team to pick up donations at any time.
Unlike a food bank or soup kitchen where it is up to the hungry to come to one location, mobile food pantries go to the people who need it.
Also, mobile food banks don’t just give out canned produce and boxed goods. A large part of their donated food is fresh produce and meats.
Why Mobile Food Delivery is Vital
A healthy, balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables is vital for healthy growth and development in children. Sadly, in the US alone, thousands of children are undernourished and hungry.
Eating well in childhood has a huge part to play in preventing diet-related diseases in adulthood. Yet, most low-income and poverty-stricken families are unable to purchase fresh produce due to its higher price.
Cost is the main barrier that prevents low-income families from enjoying a healthy diet.
Food banks do amazing work in feeding thousands, however it is difficult for them to secure fresh produce and meats. This is due to the high cost and the large demand for these food items.
That’s where mobile food delivery steps in. By working with local food growers and producers, they are able to use these reliable channels to feed the hungry across the country.
Mobile food banks use refrigerated trucks to transport items and keep them fresh for those who will receive these foods.
Reducing food waste is one of the biggest things we can do to take care of our fellow citizens and protect the environment. The UN has set a goal of reducing food waste by half by the year 2030.
The Role of Partnerships
Mobile food banks rely on key partnerships to do their important work. For example, they work with local farmers who are willing to plant an extra row of crops that are specifically for donating to the program.
Bakeries and other retailers collect day-old bread and unsellable products and donate them to mobile food banks.
They also partner with local agencies to pick up smaller donations from donors to make sure that they can get the items quickly and turn it around for delivery before it goes to waste.
The great thing about working with a mobile food bank is that they provide tax deductions for donors.
They also reduce costs for partners such as those of storage, transport, and disposal of edible produce. This means minimizing waste and working towards sustainability.
How to Distribute Collected Food?
Once mobile pantries collect food from various partners, they deliver some of it to receiving partners such as soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and pantries. This is how food is quickly distributed to thousands of people each day.
A large percentage of collected food is handed out via truck to table food pantries. This food is distributed to underserved areas across the country.
Final Word on Mobile Food Delivery
Feeding the hungry in America helps thousands of people live healthier lives. It also is a vital part of helping the environment by reducing the amount of food that goes to waste.
At Delivery Concepts we provide affordable, high quality delivery solutions for the nation’s food industry including caterers, senior nutrition, institutional food service, restaurants, and wholesale food purveyors.
Get a quote for your mobile food bank program today.