For the last six months NeighborImpact’s Fresh To You truck and VeggieRx have been working to improve food access in Prineville. Crook county has an unusually high cost per meal compared to nearby counties, over $6.00 per meal according to a Feeding America census. Carly Auten and Katrina Van Dis dreamed up the food truck years ago, and it came to life this summer with the help of Central Oregon Health Council. Although currently only serving in Prineville, the mobile food truck will allow NeighborImpact to reach multiple communities and partner with organizations to serve residents all over Central Oregon.
The truck stocks primarily fresh produce and can store approximately 1,500 lbs of fresh food. A protein option and dry pantry goods are also available. The mobile food pantry parks outside Mosaic Medical on the second and fourth Thursday of the month, serving 100-150 people with each visit. Individuals leave with several grocery bags full of fresh food. The truck will continue to serve through the winter dependent on weather conditions.
Simultaneously, the VeggieRx program provides meal kits to those enrolled in the program. The meal kits, called Fresh Harvest Kits, are full of locally grown produce and spices that together create a healthy meal when paired with pantry staples. Each kit comes with a recipe and multiple nutrition resources. Program participants report trying new vegetables, consuming more vegetables overall, learning about food; from our own food systems to storing different items, and learning new ways to prepare fresh foods.