Mobile food pantry feeds hundreds
By Carrie A. Mizell
Families with small children, senior citizens and veterans of the military were among those gathered Thursday morning for the Senior Citizens’ Food Pantry’s first mobile food giveaway.
Citizens began lining up beneath the Trenton Depot an hour before the giveaway began and watched as volunteers unloaded the food truck. Many brought their own bags, which were filled with fresh produce, frozen meats and bakery breads.
Volunteers work to open boxes full of food at the Trenton Depot on Thursday
as several hundred people wait for the distribution to begin.
Distributed on a first come first serve basis, the mobile food pantry provided food for 307 people on Thursday, explained pantry director Rick Weder.
Volunteers from the Senior Citizens’ Food Pantry ran an advertisement in the newspaper and placed flyers all over Trenton letting citizens know that the mobile food pantry was up and running this summer.
“A lot of people think you have to be unemployed to come and get food from the food pantry, but you don’t,” Weder said. “I know there are people in this county who only have $50 and have to decide between buying gas to get to work and buying $50 worth of groceries for their family. I figure if we can give them $100 worth of groceries for their families then they won’t have to make that tough decision.”
Ken Graham, of Gainesville, drove the food truck delivering everything from frozen beef ka bobs to salsa and pudding to the Trenton Depot last week. The Bread of the Mighty Food Bank employee said that while his job doesn’t pay much, he enjoys giving food away.
“It’s not about the pay,” Graham said, “It’s about seeing people eat, and that makes me feel good.”
According to Weder, all the financial experts and politicians who claim the economy is improving are wrong, at least in Gilchrist County. Weder said that the Senior Citizens’ Food Pantry provided food for 4,200 people during the month of May, and that number increases each month.
“I tell people I don’t care where they live; if they need food just show up,” Weder said. “Hunger crosses county lines.”
A second mobile food giveway will be held in two weeks at the Bell Community Center. For more information call the Senior Citizens’ Food Pantry at 463-2710.