Catholic Charities Mobile Food Pantry expands to Springfield Area

Posted on June 9, 2015

The Catholic Charities Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) program started in 2013 with two refrigerated trucks based out of the Effingham and Madison County Catholic Charities offices.  These initial mobile pantries were purchased through a national grant from the Walmart Foundation distributed through Catholic Charities USA.  In its first 18 months of operation, the Catholic Charities Mobile Food Pantry program traveled thousands of miles delivering 35 tons of food to two dozen rural communities.  Over 4,000 people living in rural poverty have been served so far and most are seniors on fixed income, disabled citizens, veterans and children.  “In our 28-county Springfield Diocese, the government estimates there are approximately 140,000 people suffering from hunger and many live in remote, rural areas with no access to food relief services,” stated Steven Roach, executive director of Catholic Charities. “We have struggled for years on how to address the rural hunger problem and the MFP program has been an answer to that prayer.” 

In 2014, the Mobile Food Pantry program expanded to the Springfield area thanks to a special fundraising effort by the local Catholic Charities Advisory Board. The first delivery out of the Springfield Catholic Charities office was to Riverton, IL where a two-week supply of food was provided to pre-registered families in need. Partnering with the local school district, over 175 men, women and children benefited from the inaugural distribution at the Riverton Elementary School.  “We are so very grateful to our generous corporate sponsors who have allowed us to literally get this program up and running,” stated Ed Hart, Springfield Catholic Charities Advisory Board President. 

“The Mobile Food Pantry Program was created so that we could seek out those who do not have the ability to get to our traditional food pantries’” said Roach.  Currently plans are under way and sponsors are being sought to help bring the Mobile Food Pantry program to the Quincy, Decatur, Carlinville and Mattoon areas of the Springfield Diocese. For more information or to become a sponsor of the Mobile Food Pantry program, please call 1-800-745-5194.