PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County families pay more for food, per person, than almost anywhere else in the country, according to Feeding America, partly because residents are spread out and have few grocery store options. But a new pilot program could help. "In Central Oregon, food access is difficult and we’re, as a region, really spread out," says High Desert Food and Farm Alliance Director Katrina Van Dis, "So, the idea was to create a mobile unit where fresh food and food pantry items could be delivered."
She says grants are helping to fund the new “Fresh To You" mobile food truck, in cooperation with NeighborImpact's food bank program. "We're partnering, right now, with Mosaic Medical, and we’re going to park it there at an established date and time. And then, all three organizations are going to try and get the word out to people about coming to the mobile unit." She tells KBND News low-income families will be able to choose which items they want or need, once or twice a month, at the Prineville clinic (375 NW Beaver St.).
The refrigerated truck will be loaded at NeighborImpact’s main office in Redmond, "The food is going to be grown by local farmers and we’re contracting with farmers to grow specifically for this project." Van Dis adds, "The idea was to partner between our organizations because the food bank and High Desert Food and Farm Alliance are both interested in accessibility to fresh, local food and coupling that with pantry staple items."
The Fresh To You mobile food truck is nearly ready to go, but Van Dis says it won't start delivering fresh produce until June, due to Central Oregon's growing season.