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Crisis Center brings food pantries to the community through mobile program

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A mobile food pantry program is growing to meet the needs of one community.

The Crisis Center of Johnson County, in partnership with local non-profits, is now up to eight mobile pantry locations in undeserved areas.  This ranges from rural mobile home parks to elderly communities within the county.  At each location, they set up shop for a few hours once a month. The service provides a family a months' worth of food, and also baby and household items. 

Members of the center said it's important to bring the food to the community because, for many people, transportation is difficult in getting to the main pantry.

"Most of the people that are visiting would not have gotten food anywhere else.  This is pretty much their one shot.  And the other thing about it - the family sizes of the people that visit the pantry are significantly larger, so imagine if you don't have transportation and you've got five little kids, taking all of that onto a bus and then bringing groceries back," Crisis Center Communications and Development Director, Sara Sedlacek, said.

Sedlacek said food insecurity is a large problem for people.

"14.1% of Johnson County residents are food insecure, and that's about 19-thousand people, and we serve about 13,000 at the crisis center annually," she said.

Through the mobile program, they've helped over 200 households, and the number only continues to grow. 

At the mobile sites, people also have the option of getting seasonal and freshly-harvested food through the help of Field to Family.

"A mobile food pantry, as well as mobile farm stands.  And the farm stands work to get fresh, seasonal, foods out to areas that are deemed food deserts," Field to Family Program Director, Michelle Kenyon, said.

The growing program is in need of volunteers, and is looking for groups of about ten to come out and help at one of the eight sites. To find out more about volunteering, visit their website here. A list of the locations can also be found on the website.

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