Thank you to our Project Partners!
What is a Mobile Produce Pantry?
A Mobile Produce Pantry is a trailer that will be fitted with a refrigeration unit, shelving, and ample storage for fresh fruits and vegetables! Once attached to a pickup truck, we can then transport fresh produce to different locations throughout the RVA to increase food security in Richmond and the community’s access to nutrient-rich foods!
Where can the Mobile Produce Pantry go?
ANYWHERE in Central RVA! The mobile pantry will meet the standards of the Virginia Health Department, so that the Mobile Produce Pantry may be used as a place to store, distribute, and provide demonstrations for ideas on how to prepare healthy produce in new and innovative ways. We can support:
Existing Food Pantries | Farmers Markets |Organizations with Healthy Eating Programs | Cultural Cooking Exchange Programs | Skills Training Programs
If you have an idea as to how the pantry can support your mission or program, please contact us!
How is this different than a regular food pantry?
We are mobile and specialize in produce. Most food pantries in Richmond lack the ability to store and distribute produce to the community. Our pantry is on wheels so we can travel to a variety of existing pantries that lack the infrastructure, and increase their ability include fresh produce in their distribution. By 2019, we will be able to support to up to 4 different pantries per month!
Where are you getting the produce?
Currently, we budget to purchase produce from the grocery store. Once the mobile pantry is built, we will become a unique Feedmore Agency Partner! While Feedmore has historically only worked with brick-and-mortar food pantries, our exciting new relationship will allow World UP to source the produce at a fraction of the retail cost, and allow Feedmore to provide additional service options to their existing food pantries so that they may expand their distribution options!
World U.P. budgets approximately $50 per month to spend on fresh produce to distribute at NOC. Shopping at Kroger, Sam’s Club, and other local grocery stores limits our distribution to approximately 35 – 50 lbs of produce a month to <1lb/household. Once we are an agency partner of Feedmore, we can purchase produce at $.04/lb, which drastically increases the impact of our $50/mo budget from <50 lbs/month to <1,500lbs/month (~15 lbs/household).
What kind of impact will a Mobile Produce Pantry have on Richmond, VA?
This project will make a strong and lasting impact in the Richmond community. The project will impact three separate and measurable areas.
- Improve food security to diverse underserved communities within Central Virginia. This program can provide families with healthier minds, bodies, and empower communities. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods are vital to reducing truancy rates, increasing employment rates, and building a diverse community. Proper nutrition is necessary for communities to begin to heal from the neglect and impoverishment. This impact will be measured by tracking the number of families we serve and the amount of produce they are provided.
- Provide support and assistance to preexisting organizations who operate food pantries, but cannot support the storage and distribution of produce. Partnership with these organizations will strengthen the nonprofit sector of Richmond, Virginia and will encourage future partnerships that share and efficiently utilize community resources. Implementing a program that assists multiple existing organizations in achieving their missions just makes fiscal and economic sense. This impact is measured by the number of organizations we are able to serve each year.
- A gentle reminder to Richmond companies and community members that food deserts are still highly prevalent in Richmond and need to be served with more permanent measures. In 2015, Richmond ranked third in the country for having the most grocery stores per capita. Since then, we have seen the entrance of Wegmans, Publix, Lidl, and the addition of many new Aldi franchises, making it reasonable to assume that Richmond has not fallen in those rankings. In a city where there are 122.56 grocery retailers per 100,000 residents, how is it that food deserts are still so prevalent? Since moving to the top of these rankings, Richmond’s food desert publicity has fallen out of light. The introduction of a new and innovative food security solution will provide as a gentle reminder that an increase in grocery stores doesn’t necessarily mean there has been an increase in access to food. Ultimately, this impact will be measured by how quickly our Mobile Produce Pantry becomes obsolete as it is replaced by permanent and affordable grocery stores in the areas we serve. It’s an idealistic goal and measure of impact, but the reality is that grocery stores will only serve areas that clearly have the potential for profit. Measuring the number of underserved community members that participate in our program, educating them on new ways to prepare produce, rebuilding an economically secure community, and creating the demand for more accessible produce will attract grocers and businesses.
How much does creating a Mobile Food Pantry cost?
The cost required to implement this project in September 2018 and run it through the end of 2018 is approximately $10,376. In 2018, to serve one pantry, it will cost approximately $275/mo to distribute produce and maintain the trailer. In 2019, we will be expanding our reach to 4 pantries per month, and the cost of sponsorship will increase to $500/month.
When will the Mobile Produce Pantry be launched?
Fundraising for this project is ongoing through the summer of 2018, and the trailer is estimated be launched September 23, 2018. The launch date is in conjunction with the date of the regularly scheduled offering at NOC food pantry. September marks the month of NOC move into their new educational center (a block away), Feedmore’s rebranding, and our two-year anniversary as an organization.
From September 2018 – December 2018, World U.P. will be working with NOC as a pilot partner for this service. During the pilot time, the organizations will have the opportunity to establish best practices and create protocols to expand the program in 2019.
In 2019, once best practices have been established, the program will be expanded across similar areas of Metro Richmond, and World U.P. will be assisting at least 4 agencies per month (approx. 1 per week). Applications to become a partner pantry in 2019 will open in the Fall of 2018!
How can I support this program?
There are so many ways to support the program!
- Donate. All donations are impactful and important.
- Become a peer-to-peer fundraiser through our Classy Page!
- Become a Project Sponsor. Check out the perks of being a Project Sponsor, below!
- Sponsor a monthly distribution. Check out the perks of being a Monthly Distribution Sponsor, below!
- Become a corporate matching sponsor during our summer of fundraising. Corporate matching sponsors receive all the perks of a Project Sponsor!
- Volunteer! All labor for construction and distribution will be volunteer driven.
- Hold a fundraiser to collect and donate unused gift cards! While gift cards to lowes or home depot can be used to directly purchase supplies, we can also use the gift cards as auction items in our fundraising efforts, or convert the unused gift cards to cash and use it to support the program. Contact us to set up a fundraiser!
Because we are a 501(c)(3) organization, we can provide you a donation receipt or a gift-in-kind receipt for tax purposes.