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A mobile farmers market for those in need

The Fredericksburg Area Food Bank will send its mobile food bank truck on its first trip Wednesday morning.

The truck, donated as part of a national effort by Kraft Foods, is a refrigerated vehicle meant to  bring a “farmers’- market-on-wheels” to under-served areas, expanding the reach of the food bank while delivering fresh fruit, vegetables and other nutritious staples to residents of Fredericksburg, King George, Stafford, Spotsylvania and Caroline counties.

The truck is part of a nationwide fleet helping fight hunger from Kraft Foods and its Foundation, in partnership with Feeding America, a national hunger-relief organization.

The mobile pantry will bring more than 130,000 pounds of good nutrition – that’s nearly 104,000 meals – to the area’s hungry residents each year, at a time when the need has never been greater.

“Here in Planning District 16, more than 30,000 of our neighbors face food insecurity.  We’re seeing more residents reaching out for food assistance than ever before,” said Oya Oliver, Executive Director, Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.   “The Kraft Foods Mobile Pantry could not come at a better time to help us increase the number of clients and areas we are able to serve.”

Giant Food has donated nearly 20,000 pounds of food, helping launch the new mobile food pantry truck.

The truck will debut tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, and then proceed to its first mobile pantry distribution site at the Dahlgren Harbor Apartments in King George, Va.

Similar programs are also being rolled out in Columbia, Mo.; Fort Pierce, Fla.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Lafayette, Ind.; Orlando, Fla.; Salt Lake City; San Diego; Spokane, Wash.; and Springfield, Ohio. Now in its third year, the Kraft Foods Mobile Pantry fleet of 25 vehicles has so far delivered 33 million pounds of food to our neighbors in need as part of the Kraft Foods Foundation’s three year, $4.5 million partnership with Feeding America.

The state of the economy is affecting more Americans than any other time in recent history. The US Department of Agriculture reports that one in six Americans is food insecure.  And, Feeding America reports a 46 percent increase in the number of people seeking emergency food assistance through their nationwide network compared to four years ago.

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