Pictured: Executive Director of the MLK Heather Hole Strout, donors Nancy and Doug Horsey, and the MLK Hunger Services team ceremoniously cut the ribbon on our new Mobile Food Pantry.
On Thursday, December 5th, 2019, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center cut the ribbon and officially launched our new Mobile Food Pantry! This initiative is made possible thanks to the generosity of underwriting donors Nancy and Doug Horsey.
With the goal of increasing access to healthy food, the MLK piloted the Mobile Food Pantry program in 2018, bringing food, personal care, and household items to low-income housing complexes across Newport County, where lack of transportation is a common barrier. The new state-of-the-art vehicle has refrigeration for perishables like meat, milk, produce, and eggs, more storage for pantry items, on-site data collection, and will allow the MLK to serve even more people in the community.
“We believe that being a community center means adapting to meet the needs of the community,” said Heather Hole Strout, Executive Director of the MLK. “We didn’t want to stop at bringing non-perishables out into the community – we wanted to bring fresh ingredients like meat, milk, eggs, and produce, too. That’s where the idea for this custom Mobile Food Pantry came from. We couldn’t have done it without Nancy and Doug Horsey, who really allowed this dream come to life.”
In 2019, the MLK has made over 30 site visits throughout the county and served over 900 Newport County residents through the Mobile Food Pantry program alone.
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center‘s Mobile Food Pantry visits the following Newport County locations:
Middletown: Oxbow Farms;
Portsmouth: Quaker Estates;
Tiverton: Hancock Estates;
Jamestown: Pemberton Apartments;
Newport: AHEPA Apartments, Bayside Village, Donovan Manor, Edgar Court, Festival Field, Parkholm.
The new Mobile Food Pantry will make its first visits in early 2020.
Pictured: Executive Director of the MLK Community Center Heather Hole Strout and donors Nancy and Doug Horsey pose with the new state-of-the-art Mobile Food Pantry.