SUISUN CITY — The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano can now claim, “Have produce. Will travel.”
A 26-foot refrigerated truck, donated by Kraft Foods, visits 19 stops a month in the area to bring produce to the people.
People such as Ayana Sharrief, who lined up Friday at the Kroc Center to get some potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, apples, potatoes and oranges. The produce would last her at least a week. And, save her money.
“Not having finances to have a complete meal, this really helps,” she said.
It cost her nothing. “Nothing is free except salvation,” she said, noting the irony of standing right by the Salvation Army Kroc Center.
“This will get us through until we get more money,” said Jessica Jamison, holding on to her 4-year-old son Xavier Jamison. “This helps greatly.”
The farmers market on wheels made its Solano County debut Feb. 1 at the Kroc Center. It can hold up to 10,000 pounds of food. An average of 170 families are served each month at the Kroc Center.
“It’s one of the best programs I’ve ever seen,” said Salvation Army Capt. Jonathan Harvey of the Kroc Center. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to provide fresh produce and a great way for volunteers to get involved.”
Volunteers such as Jessica Delventhal and her daughters Kaylee, 5, and Alison, 8. All three handed out broccoli Friday morning. The family worships at the Kroc Center. Delventhal said she wanted her children to give back to their community.
Physical health is part of the Kroc Center’s mission. That includes eating healthy, too, said Salvation Army Capt. Vickie Harvey of the Kroc Center.
“It’s a nice way to help our community members who are not able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables,” she said.
On the road four days a week, the truck offers seasonal produce. Recipients line up with a bag in hand and walk in assembly-line fashion as volunteers hand out the bagged produce.
The program helps reduce food spoilage and waste by getting produce directly to the people who need it. It began in 2009 and has delivered more than 40 million meals, according to the Kraft Foods Foundation website. There are 35 trucks in the fleet.
A nutrition educator and recipes are available at some of the stops.
The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano helps about 132,000 people each month, a 50 percent increase since 2008, according to food bank statistics.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.
Solano County residents can find the Kraft mobile food pantry in
For more information, visit http://www.foodbankccs.org/get-help/community-produce-program.html.