Second Harvest Community Food Bank is expanding its resources to serve those in St. Joseph in need of nutritious food.
The city now has two new mobile pantry locations. One is at the St. Jo Frontier Casino on the first Monday of the month, and the other is Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church on the third Friday of the month.
The new spots are in addition to two previously established locations at Carden Park Elementary School on the second Friday of the month and the Southside Health Center on the fourth Wednesday.
All are open to the general public at 10 a.m. until supplies last, said Blake Haynes, communication coordinator at Second Harvest.
“We take fresh produce and lean protein to communities within our 19 counties, basically just to supplement their needs,” Haynes said. “We have nearly 47,000 food-insecure individuals, nearly 15,000 of those individuals being children.”
Food security is defined as having the means to obtain a sufficient amount of nutritious food on a regular basis.
“Individuals are having to choose between paying utility bills, keeping the lights on and doing things like that or eating basically,” Haynes said. “Getting those needs addressed at these locations is the utmost importance.”
According to Second Harvest statistics, 50 percent of the individuals inside the 19 counties the agency serves struggle to come up with the means to pay their utility or medical bills and buy groceries. However, the organization strives to prevent forcing that decision on community members.
Second Harvest does attempt to learn more about the people it serves.
“At our Fresh Mobile Pantry you’re going to see questions (like) how many family members they have in the family,” Haynes said. “Can we maybe address or assist you with a resource guide?”
Other local and regional pantry locations can be found on the food pantry calendar provided by Second Harvest at newspressnow.com.