Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf: Food Shelf Mobile Pantry & Transport Trailer
Co-op Patronage Seedling Grantee 2014
Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, Burlington, VT — Grant Award: $5,000 (actual check: $14,342.71)
A transport trailer will enable the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf (CEFS) to expand access to healthy, fresh food for low income community members in Chittenden County, while greatly increasing the Food Shelf ’s capacity to safely accept and transport donations of perishable foods. The refrigerated trailer will greatly expand the Food Shelf ’s capacity to rescue more food safely and efficiently by eliminating concerns about unsafe storage temperatures during transport. This trailer will increase the area that CEFS staff can collect food from and their capacity to accept foods that would previously have been unsafe to accept. Funding for this refrigerated trailer will provide a way for the CEFS to further reduce food waste in our local food system while supporting those who are most vulnerable.
With the funds we have received through the City Market Patronage Refund Grant, the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf has successfully purchased a new, pull-behind refrigerated trailer that we have used to bring fresh produce and ready-to-eat meals to underserved, low-income community members.
The Food Shelf has purchased this pull-behind trailer from Storage in Motion. This trailer is 10’x6’ and can be used as both a cooler and a freezer. It features a fully adjustable temperature control to allow our staff to store fresh and frozen foods in the optimal temperature zone. The trailer has been fully registered and licensed for operation in Vermont.
As the trailer will be used in close partnership with the Good Food Truck program, we have dubbed this new trailer the “Good Food Trailer”. The Good Food Trailer is scheduled to be wrapped with weather-proof vinyl decorated in the same colorful and cheerful graphics that decorate the Good Food Truck. This decoration and weather-proofing is scheduled to be completed in early December 2015. This decoration will ensure that the Good Food Trailer receives the same warm reception and program recognition from our clients as the Good Food Truck. Before purchasing this trailer, the Food Shelf took part in an in-depth search for the trailer that best fit our existing equipment and program needs. This search, combined with the delay in the start of the Good Food Truck program (due to a pushback in the fabrication timeline for that vehicle), moved back the date of our first implementation of the Good Food Trailer. Despite this, the initial pilot applications of the program have been very successful, and the Good Food Trailer is now fully operational. The Good Food Trailer has already distributed hundreds of pounds of produce and ready-to-eat meals to low income community members.
The Good Food Trailer has distributed supplies of rescued fresh produce and meals at Harbor Place in Shelburne, a regular stop of the Good Food Truck Program. Residents served through this healthy food distribution include vulnerable families and individuals who are attempting to escape homelessness and find stable housing. While these households are regaining independence and working toward permanent housing and independence at Harbor Place, it can be difficult for many of these families and individuals to acquire sufficient, nutritious foods. There are currently approximately 80 people who live in Harbor Place, and these residents include people with disabilities, families with children, seniors, and people who are transitioning from living on the streets. The Good Food Trailer enables the Food Shelf to expand access to healthy, fresh food for low income community members in Chittenden County while greatly increasing the Food Shelf’s capacity to safely accept and transport donations of perishable foods. As such, the Good Food Trailer is also scheduled to assist in the Food Shelf’s many upcoming donation and food rescue events in the coming season. For example, the Good Food Trailer will be parked on Church Street on November 14th for the 2nd Annual Trotting of the Turkeys. At this event, the trailer will be used to collect donations of Thanksgiving turkeys and other perishable food products to ensure that these donations are handled in a way that ensures the utmost level of food safety and care.