GRRO GOOD FOOD INSTITUTE
Mobile Healthy Food Pantry.
Mobile Healthy Food Pantry
Green Rural Redevelopment Organization is committed to being a part of the solution to our rural communities’ issues of food insecurity by providing access to healthy nutrition. The addition of our mobile healthy food pantry to this area will fill a significant gap in disenfranchised residents’ access to good nutrition. The GRRO GFI is a partner agency with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and has created a mobile food pantry to serve the people who are most needy in our communities.
“Many families experiencing food insecurity often have several, if not all, compounding factors which makes maintaining good health extremely difficult.”
It is important to recognize that food insecurity and chronic disease make up a cycle that often defines the lives of individuals or families that we serve in the Kerr-Tar region. Add to this, the stress that accompanies living in persistently poor rural communities, and the management of chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, it becomes clear that providing access to a healthy food pantry makes sense.
In a study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University, there are identifiable patterns in how families with low food security interact with and make decisions about food shopping:
Price is a major factor in food shopping decisions
Nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats cost much more per calorie when compared to sugary snack foods, packaged and frozen food, and candies
They purchase foods with a much longer shelf life, in order to make sure that the foods don’t go to waste if not used immediately
Fresh vegetables and fruit are passed over to purchase canned vegetables and fruit
GRRO’s programs utilize a combination of methods to help get more nutritious foods into the diets of the disenfranchised in our community. The organization creates health-focused community programs in collaboration with healthcare providers and agencies. Our programs pivot around three principal services:
Provide fresh, locally sourced produce and foods
Educate consumers about proper food storage and preparing meals using fresh produce
Provide access to foods and support programs via our mobile food pantry and mobile refrigerated farmers market
In our rural service areas, the issue of access is magnified by the lack of reliable, if any, transportation, both public and private. This has a direct negative impact on some community members’ ability to getting food to their homes from area food pantries. This is a significant factor that limits the ability of traditional food pantries to reach many of the residents that are in need.