The linchpin of the organization is the Food Pantry full of nutritious foods that can be accessed much like a supermarket. Supplemented by additional Food Box programs catered to seniors and children, providing them with much needed nutrition weekly. However, the reality of providing access to food in an equitable manner relies on a complicated web of factors. In low income populations particularly, the lack of adequate transportation (both public transit and personal vehicle) is a significant impediment.
In a County like Henrico, "central" is relative and the likelihood of serving a part of the County over the other remains. Hunger in Henrico is not limited to just the East End but prevalent throughout the 5 magisterial jurisdictions.
With the goal to "localize" food access, the Board embarked on a re-evaluation of their food distribution strategy focusing on equitable distribution and concept client first. With this concept in mind, HCFB pivoted to a Mobile Food Distribution model, meeting clients on home turf thus breaking the barriers to food access. This new strategy also allowed the organization to pull together resource partners providing valuable services.
As we have seen with our distributions, the mobile model has been an impactful solution eliminating the transportation challenges and the need to take a day off to access a Pantry. Our staff and volunteers are on the road daily traveling the length and breadth of Henrico County serving our resident with fresh produce, daily, protein, and pantry staples.
Monthly distributions are robust with both shelf stable and perishable offerings. Bags full of nutritious pantry staples and an assortment of in season fresh fruit and vegetable offerings weighing 25-30 pounds are provided to recipients.
At the same time, we continue to answer the calls for assistance from our Henrico neighbors in need of assistance.
Innovative, nimble, adaptive to the needs of the County, HCFB's new strategy is living up to its mission to provide access to nutritious food in an equitable and dignified manner to those in need.
To sponsor a mobile distribution, hold a food or fund drive or volunteer at a distribution, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org