A Food Pantry, 'NOW' On Wheels
Project NOW is "going mobile" to feed people in the Illinois Quad Cities area.
On Wednesday, the community action agency launched its first "Pop-up Food Pantry" at its office in Rock Island. Volunteers out more than 400 boxes of food from Project NOW's new food truck. And the River Bend Food Bank is a partner in the new program.
Dwight Ford is the Executive Director of Project NOW. He says the refrigerated food truck doesn’t just offer food.
“When we show up, of course we are going to move food immediately. But this also gives us the chance of the mobilization of an office: to take LIHEAP applications, weatherization applications, Senior Services applications, and we could take applications even for Head Start.”
Project NOW has three offices with outreach services in each of the counties it serves: Rock Island, Mercer and Henry. The Mobile Food Pantry is currently planning for the next stop, which will be in Kewanee.
Ford says the goal is to serve people who are unable to use Wi-Fi or can’t afford gas to come to the office or food pantry.
“The very fact that we can be present with people who are experiencing the most pain. They can save that little gas money, and they can save the time it takes to catch the bus. There's a way we can become much more innovative in the delivery of services, and thats what we are attempting to do.”
So far this year, Project NOW, in partnership with the Riverbend Food Bank, has distributed 40,000 pounds of food. And every month, roughly 117 households benefit from the agency's many programs.
All those services and more are available from Project NOW. You can learn more at ProjectNOW.org.