Mobile Food Drop Program Transports Nutritious, Fresh Foods to Food Deserts

Since moving into the Morgan & Morgan Hunger Relief Center in 2013, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has made a special commitment to improving the availability of nutritious, fresh foods in our most underserved areas.  While we continue to distribute food to more than 550 partner feeding programs, some are simply not able to move tens of thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to the clients they serve.  Transportation of the products can be a challenge, and refrigerated space is most often a barrier as well.

Second Harvest implemented a Mobile Food Drop program to solve this challenge. Nearly 30 times every month this program schedules drops in local “food desert” areas. With advance planning, partner programs are able to get the word out to the surrounding neighborhoods and their clients. On the day of the drop, a Second Harvest Food Bank truck loaded with fresh produce and other needed food items arrives, is unloaded and distributed by our partners’ volunteers. Once set up, families either drive or walk through a line to receive bags filled with fresh food. There are typically hundreds of families served in this way each day, at each location. It is not uncommon for the line to begin forming several hours before the distribution begins, which speaks to the urgency of need.

One mobile drop location is at the St. Cloud Civic Center. This partnership between the city and Alter St. Cloud Vineyard church serves approximately 400 families six times a year.

“The need is real,” explains Bill Nagy, the volunteer manager of the food distribution. “I meet people living in tents, seniors on fixed incomes and young families trying to make ends meet on minimum wage.”

Every bag and box of food that is distributed at a Mobile Food Drop is made possible by caring individuals and corporate partners who are willing to support this cost-effective and impactful way of providing food.  Special thanks to Darden for supporting this essential program by helping to cover transportation and fuel costs.

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