Funding / Rural Health

Mobile Food Pantry Coming to Rural Communities

Food insecurity is a pressing issue in many rural communities, where access to resources is limited. However, a beacon of hope is on the horizon for residents of Black River and Evans Mills as a new initiative aims to address this challenge head-on. In a pioneering move, a mobile food pantry is set to roll into these north country communities, providing much-needed relief to those facing hunger. Spearheaded by the Community Action Planning Council (CAPC) and supported by Jefferson County, FX Caprara, and Cornell Cooperative Extension, this innovative project is poised to make a significant impact.

Mayor David Leonard of Black River expressed his optimism about the initiative, stating, “I really think that this is going to be tremendous in helping people.” The mobile pantry, housed in a 2023 Ram ProMaster van, is a testament to the power of collaboration and community-driven solutions. The primary objective of the mobile pantry is to extend resources beyond the confines of traditional brick-and-mortar food pantries. Caroline Feasler, CAPC Family Center Director, emphasized the importance of reaching rural areas, stating, “To spread the resources outside the city of Watertown.”

Starting on April 1, the mobile food pantry will commence its monthly visits to Black River and Evans Mills, providing essential sustenance to those in need. Mayor Leonard highlighted the convenience of this approach, noting, “We’re almost like one-stop shopping where they can get the help that they need.”

Equipped with the capacity to transport approximately 150 boxes of food per day, the van will serve as a lifeline for many families grappling with food insecurity. The first stop will be at the Jack Williams Community Park in Evans Mills before heading to the gazebo near the public square in Black River.

This endeavor marks a significant step forward in the fight against hunger in rural communities, demonstrating the power of collective action and community support. As the mobile food pantry sets its wheels in motion, it symbolizes a ray of hope for those in need.

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