A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

God’s Pantry unveils mobile produce distribution van in effort to provide healthy food to Ky. kids, teens

God’s Pantry Food Bank this week joined Leon Lamoreaux, Anthem Kentucky Medicaid Plan President, and Ashton Potter Wright, Director of Local Food and Agricultural Development to unveil a new custom vehicle that will serve as a Mobile Produce Distribution Van, helping the non-profit meet the nutrition needs of kids and teens during the summer months by providing healthy fresh alternatives.

“The gift of this Mobile Produce Distribution Van allows us to quickly deliver fresh food to all of the 32 summer feeding sites we sponsor like the watermelon, tomatoes, and cantaloupe shared here today. Thank you Anthem Kentucky Medicaid for your gift and work helping to improve nutrition for many of the 72,000 kids and teens who are hungry in Central and Eastern Kentucky,” said Michael Halligan, CEO, God’s Pantry Food Bank. “With this new van we will be able to gather and distribute more fresh fruits and vegetables from a variety of sources including Kentucky grown produce provided by Feeding Kentucky’s Farms to Food Banks program.”

The Mobile Produce Van, will allow God’s Pantry Food Bank to expand its reach to kids and teens at summer feeding sites by providing fresh produce in manageable quantities for them to take home. The van allows distribution in areas where a larger truck, typically what is used during produce distributions, cannot fit. The unveiling was hosted at the Lexington Public Library Northside Branch, a partner of the Food Bank’s in the fight against hunger. This library branch is one of the Food Bank’s Summer Feeding sites, and partners with the Food Bank throughout the year to make sure the surrounding community is fed.

The van was outfitted and redesigned by Anthem Kentucky Medicaid to allow the Food Bank to set up a produce stand out of the back. The inside can be used to transport produce during summer months and the open design allows God’s Pantry Food Bank to use for a variety of needs throughout the year.

“Anthem is honored to support God’s Pantry Food Bank, which is effectively helping those citizens who need assistance gain access to the proper nutrition they need to maintain their health and improve their overall wellbeing,” said Leon Lamoreaux, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Kentucky Medicaid plan president. “Our partnership with the Food Bank illustrates how Anthem goes beyond providing access to health care services by supporting innovative programs that help address the barriers to total health, such as food insecurity, which have a negative impact on health and quality of life.”

Ashton Potter Wright, Director of Local Food and Agricultural Development for Mayor Linda Gorton, reiterated the need for nutritious food during the summer months for kids and teens.

“Nutrition in Lexington is taking a big step forward today,” said Ashton Potter Wright, Director of Local Food and Agricultural Development for Mayor Linda Gorton. “The van Anthem is donating will make a big difference in God’s Pantry’s work to provide good food to young people during the summer months, when they are most vulnerable to hunger.”

God’s Pantry Food Bank began in 1955 by a woman, Mim Hunt, who saw hunger in her community and knew she could do something about it. In the following 65 years the Food Bank has grown to serve 50 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky, distributing more than 39 million pounds of food in the past fiscal year. More than 13.5 million of those pounds was fresh produce. The Food Bank strives to serve those who are most vulnerable to hunger, including kids, families and senior citizens across our service area.

For more information on God’s Pantry Food Bank please visit www.GodsPantryFoodBank.org.

From God’s Pantry

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