With more than half of the residents in Brooklyn Park, Maryland earning less than $25,000 a year, Pantry on the Go, a traveling food bank, is a necessity for a lot of people. Why? Because:
- 42% cut the size of or totally skipped meals in the last year
- 38% have no refrigerator or freezer
- The top three medical conditions are high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity—conditions that are known to be caused by a poor diet
Pantry on the Go brings fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables to locations where people most need them: in “food deserts,” where the only nearby options for meals are often-overpriced convenience stores and fast-food restaurants, and in suburban or rural areas, where getting to a grocery store can be a big challenge without a car, or if the market isn’t easily accessible by public transportation.
United Way of Central Maryland, in partnership with the Maryland Food Bank, worked with other nonprofits to operate Pantry on the Go events in Baltimore City and the surrounding counties.
“People visit the Pantry either as a primary source of food or to supplement the food they have,” said Mizetta Wilson, Director of The Community of Hope-Brooklyn Park, which hosts Pantry on the Go events in Brooklyn Park. “We serve a broad range of people. Some of the patrons are elderly, others are homeless, and we’ve had working families visit.”
When asked what would eliminate the need for Pantry on the Go in the community she serves, Mizetta replied, “There would need to be a huge shift in the average income and more grocery stores would need to come to the Brooklyn Park area. We’d also need to end homelessness and increase the number of people who have a refrigerator and freezer in their home.” That’s food for thought, and some incredible and seemingly impossible goals.
Pantry on the Go is made possible by a grant from Wells Fargo.
Statistics: 2017 Brooklyn Park food survey conducted by the Health Department.