TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Just call it a market on wheels.
The Food Bank of Westchester, along with Food Network star Sandra Lee and officials from Kraft and Stop and Shop, launched a new mobile food pantry in Tarrytown on Thursday morning.
“This vehicle is going to help us do so much more for so many more,” said Richard Rakow, board chair of the Food Bank of Westchester.
Officials and politicians gathered at the Tarrytown Stop and Shop to promote the new pantry's initiative and begin filling the truck with donated food. The 36-foot refrigerated truck will be deployed to under-served communities throughout Westchester, with its first stop scheduled for Saturday in Port Chester.
Lee helped launch the new pantry, citing the good work food pantries do around the nation. Lee herself was raised on welfare and food stamps. An estimated 200,000 residents in Westchester face food insecurity, and Lee says that number surprised her.
“When I first moved to Westchester from Los Angeles, the weather's a little different, but the hunger issue remains,” she said. “I was really surprised in Westchester County — because we all know it is one of the wealthiest counties in New York — that we still have such an incredible need and so many people who without the food banks would be at risk of hunger.”
Rakow said the truck would help the Food Bank provide better access to communities it couldn't get to before. The truck also helps the Food Bank distribute food at non-traditional times such as weekends, to help it reach more people.