Any 501(c)(3) non-profit organization can host a Mobile Food Pantry. It takes about two hours and costs about $500 to host a pantry distribution of 5,000 pounds — a 3- to 4-day supply of food for 100 families. For a little more, you can arrange for as much as 10,000 pounds.
You’ll need to fill out some paperwork and arrange to use a parking lot, which you can probably “borrow” for an afternoon from a church, school or office park. You’ll also need about 8 folding banquet tables and 12 volunteers to help unload food, answer questions, direct traffic, and clean up the site afterwards.
Feeding America West Michigan supplies food to agencies for 6 to 16 cents per pound in most cases. This fee helps to cover fuel, truck maintenance, driver and other staff costs. Read more about our handling feeds.
Four years on, Mobile Pantry’s impact on Rockford is clear
Clyde Sinclair, coordinator of the monthly Mobile Food Pantry at the American Legion Merritt Lamb Post in Rockford, reflects on how Feeding America West Michigan’s program has helped families in his community.
I want to take a moment to thank those of you who take time every month to help with our food pantry. Without your help, we could not assist the numbers of people that we do.
In October we conducted our 48th Mobile Pantry. It hardly seems like it was four years ago that we began what has become an awesome community service project, something the members of the Post can be very proud of. Since the beginning, we have distributed more than 365,000 pounds of food to more than 1,100 families in our neighborhoods.*
That’s what you call having an impact upon your community.
I’ve noticed over the past four years that our clientele has changed. Through the first two to three years, we had a mix of young and old, those who had lost their jobs and those who couldn’t make it on a fixed income. During the past year or so as many have returned to work, I’ve seen our clientele settle down to become more of the elderly, who continue to have a difficult time making ends meet on a fixed income. With higher energy costs, higher gasoline prices, and higher costs across the board, many of them are keeping their homes warm by eating much less or even only once per day.
I’d like to impress upon you that we are doing an awesome job, and a very important job. Earlier this week, just two days before Thanksgiving, we distributed 8,100 pounds of food, including potatoes, milk, bread, lettuce, pineapples, yogurt, and cookies to people who needed help. I’ll bet most of our guests thought of The American Legion during their Thanksgiving meal.
Thank you so very much for your support, we are doing a really good thing here.
*The average Mobile Food Pantry can provide more than 8 meals per dollar.
Real Stories of Hunger and Hope
For more stories about how Mobile Pantries and other Feeding America West Michigan programs are providing fresh food to families in need, read these accounts of life on the edge of hunger.