'We bring the food directly to them': York County Food Bank goes mobile

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

The York County Food Bank is going mobile — using a double-decker bus to bring food straight to the York County residents who need it the most.

The food bank's mobile unit, which was unveiled Friday, has been a work-in-progress for over a year, said York County Food Bank President and CEO Jennifer Brillhart.

"It's basically a food pantry on wheels that will go out to the community," Brillhart said. "We bring the food directly to them."

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brillhart said, food bank officials have taken note of areas where community members are not being reached by the food bank.

Many of these areas, she added, were rural parts of York County where travel to the food bank's new location, at 1094 Haines Road, could be difficult. 

"A lot of people think only York City doesn't have food security, but there's rural areas that also have food security issues," Brillhart said.

The food bank's mobile unit recently conducted a few test runs in Wrightsville and Hellam Township that were met with resounding support from the community.

Utilizing the space on the bus will provide residents with the "grocery experience," Brillhart added.

"It has that feeling, it almost feels like a little miniature store," Brillhart said, adding that the spacious bus can give dignity to those shopping.

York County Food Bank Board Chair Andrew Paxton, front, leads First Lady of Pennsylvania Frances Donnelly Wolf on a tour through the new Mobile Food Pantry after it is introduced at the York County Food Bank Emergency Food Hub in Springettsbury Township, Friday, May 14, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

No schedule has been set yet on where the mobile pantry will be stopping, although food bank officials hope to solidify dates within the next couple of months, Brillhart said.

All upcoming information regarding the mobile pantry's schedule will be made available on the York County Food Bank's website at https://yorkfoodbank.org/. Information will also be posted to the organization's Facebook page.

"COVID has really brought attention to the issue of food security, and I feel like there was a stigma before asking for help," Brillhart said. "Unfortunately, transportation is one of the barriers for people receiving food. We recognize that and we hope to eliminate that one barrier."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.