December 2020

Grantee Spotlight: JFCS Mobile Food Pantry Serves Local Community Where and When They Need it the Most

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When JFCS of Greater Mercer County launched their Mobile Food Pantry in January 2020, they had no idea how timely and necessary their service would be for the community. The impact of the pandemic on food insecurity has been severe, with demand at food pantries increasing dramatically. By the end of 2020, the food insecurity rate in Mercer County is expected to reach 13.6% representing over 50,000 individuals in our community, according to Feeding America.

When the pandemic hit, JFCS’s Mobile Food Pantry quickly ramped up their schedule to make up to three distributions a week, after only a month and a half on the road. During the week of Thanksgiving, JFCS made five distributions in just two and a half workdays.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive for the Mobile Food Pantry. Partners across the community are grateful for the organization’s ability to bring resources directly to clients. The individuals served are always thankful for the food, especially the fresh and frozen produce, meat and dairy provided in each delivery.

The organization’s Mobile Food Pantry has also allowed JFCS to be more accessible to supporting partners. Throughout the year, community groups have generously held food drives and JFCS is able to easily bring their mobile pantry to pick up large-scale donations from their locations. From handing out gift cards to Shop Rite to offering hearty bags of groceries, JFCS’s partners and the local community continually express gratitude for their good work and efforts.

The support of The Provident Bank Foundation has enabled JFCS to reach more of those in need through their Mobile Food Pantry. Specifically, a $12,500 grant from The Provident Bank Foundation will support five distributions of the Mobile Food Pantry, benefitting approximately 750 individuals in East Windsor and Hightstown.

Looking ahead, JFCS is preparing for continued growth of the Mobile Food Pantry program and has already expanded storage space on-site to accommodate more inventory for an increase in distributions. Additionally, they have expanded their fleet with a new distribution van, purchased with a designated gift by a private donor.

In less than a year, JFCS has already served over 13,500 individuals through the Mobile Food Pantry.

JFCS could never have predicted the pandemic or its long-term impact on the community. Yet, with the Mobile Food Pantry, this valuable organization was in a position to pivot quickly and adapt to the new environment with the ability to serve many in the community during the pandemic.