Summer mobile produce pantry event

Mary Blake and Karla Gann at the South Clatsop County Food Bank.

Free fruits and vegetables will again be distributed to qualifying low-income residents in Clatsop County beginning May 5 and run through Sept. 29.

This project, done in the style of a roadside vegetable stand, is a result of the Food Bank Fresh initiatives launched by CCA Regional Food Bank.

These free fruits and vegetables are in addition to the food people receive during their regular visit to a food pantry and are designed to complement the fresh whole food activities in motion at CCA Regional Food Bank Partner Agencies in Clatsop County.

Much of the fresh produce received at the CCA Regional Food Bank comes directly from the efforts of the Oregon Food Bank and the network of regional food banks. Truckloads of product, typically rejected from the retail markets due to product blemishes, irregular sizes, under or over developed product, or just excess pounds are donated or rescued to avoid wasting food that, although not perfect, is still fresh and consumable.

This year will see continued efforts on the part of the Food Bank Fresh initiatives. The “food bank farm” production gardens are targeted to produce over 5,000 pounds of carrots and apples, grown specifically for distribution to low-income residents though the work of partner agencies throughout Clatsop County. 

The food bank will also be conducting live food demonstrations at the mobile produce pantries on given days, educating consumers on the preparation of fresh produce items available for distribution that day. The program will distribute as many as 70,000 packets of gardens seeds to low-income residents interested in growing fresh vegetables at their homes. These seeds will be available at the mobile produce pantries and at food pantries throughout Clatsop County.

For volunteers who like behind-the-scenes action, culling and packaging duties are available at the Food Bank during the mornings, preparing the product for the mobile produce pantry.

For volunteers who enjoy working outdoors in the fresh air and with the public; help is needed at the pantry to assist in serving our consumers. For information, call 503-861-FOOD (3663).

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