DOT Foods Awards Funding for Mobile Pantry
Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Thank you DOT Foods Charitable Committee for the opportunity to present our proposal seeking support for our WOW Mobile Pantry charitable food distribution.
As a food supplier company, donating to local food banks is a natural fit, Rocky Vecera General Manager - BHC, said. “Robert and Dorothy Tracy are the founders of our company and they were very supportive of local charities,” Vecera said. “They’re from a small town in Illinois and they’ve instilled the importance of charitable contributions to all twelve of their kids. It’s just something near and dear to all our hearts — we’re part of this community and we want to make sure we’re giving back to this community.”
During 2018, Caring Hearts Food Ministry served close to 1 million pounds of food to over 15,000 tristate families. We also experienced an influx of waste-conscious corporate donors with a 200% increase in weekly, local food donations and food procurement. This growth has presented challenges for food pick-up, dry goods and cold/frozen food storage. Coupled with a growing service area in a widespread food desert, 19.1% county-wide food insecurity, 24% child poverty and a 240% increase over 2017-2018 in the number of households we serve, there is an overwhelming demand to improve nutritious food accessibility for working families and for those without reliable transportation. In four years operating just our monthly pop-up in a parking lot ‘with out waste’ (WOW) Mobile Pantry, we provided unrestricted free access, to 1.45 million pounds of fresh rescued produce eaten by over 25,000 households that reside within the tristate area. Currently, we are exhausting our volunteer’s time, vehicles, pick-ups, and flatbed trailers and it is time to acquire proper refrigerated transportation.
Due to this exponential growth of our food & nutrition outreach programs, we outgrew our existing facility and are currently relocating to a larger warehouse in Ft. Mohave. To alleviate a lengthy gap in daily pantry service, we will continue to host our popular WOW monthly charitable food distribution at Rotary Park throughout the summer. Soon, we would like to offer additional neighborhood mobile pantries at locations throughout the valley and in several under-served communities within the county. Over the long term, we would like to expand our mobile pantry services to provide additional pick-up/delivery service for those homebound or without reliable transportation.
For us to continue this vital mobile-food outreach program, we are in desperate need of a refrigerated box truck to stow our gear and haul our food to the various neighborhood community locations. We are seeking a 16’ – 25’ box truck or cube van with reefer unit. Bonuses would include a hydraulic lift-gate, pallet jack, side access door and ‘vehicle branding wrap’. We are actively seeking sponsorship for this project and will be collaborating with local businesses and organizations to help fulfill our mobile pantry expansion goals to improve access to fresh food in our community.
We invited DOT Foods Charitable Committee to consider our proposal to help us effectively expand this essential community mobile pantry service. We appealed to DOT for their expertise in this area. We are pleased to announce that DOT Foods supported our efforts to make a difference by working together to take a bite out of food insecurity and improve food access in our beloved tristate communities.
We look forward to future collaboration on our vehicle acquisition project.
Executive Director - WOW Mobile Pantry
CEO - Caring Hearts Food Ministry