Mobile food pantry up and running to put an end to 'food deserts'

Mobile food pantry up and running to put an end to 'food deserts'

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - It's taken months of planning, research, and a whole lot of paint to get Kershaw County's new Mobile Nutrition Center up and running.

The United Way teamed up with Eat More, Move More, the county's 14 food pantries, and Harvest Hope to transform a small box truck into a solution for eradicating hunger in the community.

"It's often difficult for the people in the rural parts of our county to get to the metro areas to receive services and take utilization of our food pantries, so the idea of this program is to take our services out into the community where the people are," said Nick Julian.

The truck will travel to Kershaw County's several food deserts, providing food to those who don't have access to anything fresh.

For many in the county's most rural community, a trip to the nearest grocery is at least a 15-minute drive. For those without easy access to transportation, that's not always feasible. Instead many rely on canned goods and pantry staples that can last multiple weeks between trips to the store.

"I borrow a vehicle just to get here," said one Kershaw County mother, "so it really helps if you don't have transportation to go make that 20-minute drive."

Back in 2008, the United Way of Kershaw County set a goal to end homelessness and hunger in the community. Organizers hope increasing access to food will go a long way in making that dream a reality.

Currently, more than 16 percent of people living in Kershaw County live below the poverty line. That's more than 10,000 people. At least 3,000 of them live farther than walking or biking distance from a grocery and don't have access to a car.

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