In fall of 2012, several members of the Placer Collaborative Network met regularly at the Placer Community Foundation (PCF) to brainstorm as to how best to support local food pantries. As a result of these discussions, a task force surveyed 65 local feeding organizations and compiled a report. A few important facts from the report include:
- 1 in 8 Placer County residents does not know where he or she will find his/her next meal
- Applications for CalFresh/Food stamps have increased 200 percent in Placer County since 2008
- Most food pantries lack the refrigeration needed to provide recipients with fresh produce
- A food desert map was needed to pinpoint areas where pantries are located and where residents lack services
- A refrigerated truck could be used as a mobile food pantry to deliver fresh produce to local food pantries
Placer Community Foundation supported the Placer Food Bank to work with the CRC to create a food desert map. Using the information that the CRC’s map provided, the food bank was able to map out a delivery schedule for its mobile food truck.
A mobile food truck was purchased in May 2014, with a $43,000 grant from the Placer Community Foundation’s Community Needs Fund. The truck is refrigerated and visits a different community each day, expanding the reach of the Food Bank significantly and removing the need for refrigerators at each food pantry.
by Tricia Caspers Ross, Placer Community Foundation