Mobile farmers market helps people in need in Vandalia, Englewood

Springfield National Guardsman, Jason Wright loads a car with food at the Living Word Church in Vandalia Wednesday March 10, 2021.
Caption
Springfield National Guardsman, Jason Wright loads a car with food at the Living Word Church in Vandalia Wednesday March 10, 2021.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Hundreds of people showed up Wednesday as the Foodbank held its first mobile food pantry distribution event in Vandalia and Englewood.

The mobile farmers market distributed bread, sweet potatoes, fruits, milk, assorted meats, and other items to roughly 50 people during the Foodbank’s one hour stop at the Living Word Church parking lot in Vandalia. Mobile pantry manager for the Foodbank, Andy Macy, said the goal for pantry is simply to meet the need of those that are in need.

“The mobile pantry program fills in gap areas where either there’s an identified need or not enough food pantries, or not enough grocery stores,” he said.

Both Englewood and Vandalia were identified as areas of needing emergency food assistance by a recent service gap study performed by the University of Dayton. “We do this every two years, and just try to adjust based on that,” said Macy.

ExploreMobile food pantry coming to Vandalia and Englewood

People lined up their cars for the drive through with their trunks and doors open to receive food items. The food from the truck is brought from the Foodbank warehouse, partnership with USDA and grocery stores.

“We rescue straight from stores and any food that they can’t sell or can’t use, they’ll give to us and we’ll hand it out t those that need it,” he said.

In the summer, Macy said they try to set it up as a farmers market but during the winter months fresh produce is harder to come by.

Kyle Marler has been a volunteer for the last six months. After losing his job due to the pandemic he volunteers as better use of his time.

“So while I’ve been trying to make ends meet, this has been a good way to give back but also kind of selfishly give myself something to do,” he said.

The Foodbanks mobile pantry program will continue every second Wednesday of each month in Vandalia at the Living Word Church at 926 E. National Road from 10 to 11 a.m. and in Englewood at the Englewood Christian Assembly at 415 N. Main St. between 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. They are open to anyone in need.