Our Pantry on the Go Program seeks and selects temporary food distribution sites—or mobile pantries—to provide supplementary food assistance in food-insecure rural, urban and suburban areas. This important program allows the Maryland Food Bank to distribute large amounts of food directly to communities that have little access to other forms of hunger relief.
How does The program work?
The Maryland Food Bank seeks out community organizations in food-insecure communities to serve as host sites for the Pantry on the Go Program. Once the Maryland Food Bank has selected a mobile pantry site, the food bank will determine a drop-off date and send a truck with thousands of pounds of food to the designated drop-off point. Upon arrival, food is immediately unloaded and distributed by volunteers to food-insecure individuals in the community. On average, a mobile pantry provides more than 6,000 pounds of produce and non-perishable foods, feeding about 200 families; however, a large Pantry on the Go site can serve up to 2,000 families in a single day. The goal of each mobile pantry drop is to provide immediate relief to communities that are struggling with food insecurity.
Our Pantry on the Go Program is a critical part of the Maryland Food Bank’s operations for a number of reasons:
Moving Fresh Produce
This program allows us to quickly move large quantities of fresh produce and ensures that food-insecure clients have access to high-quality, nutritious foods that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get.
Strengthening Local Agencies
A single cost-effective delivery and same-day distribution reduces the burden on local agencies that may struggle to transport and store larger quantities of food to meet the need in their community.
Bridging the Service Gap
By bringing the food to our clients, we remove transportation barriers for those in the suburbs and for rural communities that may not have access to a stationary food pantry; we are also able to provide food assistance in geographic areas that our network partners cannot serve.
With continuing food insecurity and an increasing demand for food assistance, the Pantry on the Go Program gives the Maryland Food Bank a way to directly serve individuals and families throughout our 22-county service area. Last year, the Maryland Food Bank’s Pantry on the Go Program distributed more than five million meals to households in need at more than 1,000 events.