We held the Southern Barton Heights Mobile Food Pantry on Saturday, December 11th.

The Mobile Food Pantry is co-organized with the Central VA Food Bank. They bring a huge truck filled with food -12,630 lbs of food this month- and we distribute vouchers to community members who could use the extra food. While the vouchers ensure the holder gets priority in line and guarantees a full share of food, anybody is welcome to come and share the remainder. We gave away all of the food this month.

This month we changed our distribution scheme in a significant way: instead of people coming to our door to pick up food vouchers, we delivered them door to door throughout our neighborhood and northside. Those who fell outside our delivery range were contacted afterword, and then told they could pick up a voucher. This helped ensure ALL the people in our area (and especially less mobile folks) got vouchers, while also not excluding people in other areas of the city.

In general the level of politeness at the Mobile Food Pantry increased, we speculate due to the presence of more actual neighors at the community event. Another unexpected benefit was a proportional increase in reported seniors, probably also due to the less Social Darwinist model of voucher distro.

Without further ado, the statistics:

We delivered or handed out 142 vouchers for December.

210 people came to get food, of whom 108 had vouchers.

Those people represented 823 household members: 335 adults, 359 children, and 129 seniors.

On the menu that day were: spaghetti, cereal, crackers, cream of wheat, greens, potatoes, carrots, corn, butter, bananas, beef patties, reggano sauce, cookies, baby food, and two-liter bottles of soda. All of the food was given away.

Vouchers for the January food pantry were given to anyone who had already been delivered a voucher for December. Those without vouchers were added to the January delivery list; anyone within the delivery range will be given a voucher. Those who fall outside of it (again) will be contacted to pick one up after residents of Southern Barton Heights and the surrounding area receive theirs.

For information on how to start a Mobile Food Pantry in your area, contact Warren Hammonds (whammonds@feedmore.org) of the Central VA Food Bank. It’s very easy to start one! All you need are a location, volunteers to hand out the food, and a method for voucher distribution: here we deliver, but other groups distribute them via faith centers, community service and neighborhood associations, or other organizations.

To get a voucher for the Southern Barton Heights Mobile Food Pantry, just give us a call at (804) 303-5449 and we’ll put you on our delivery schedule!

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