Coastal Harvest has acquired a new mobile food bank.
This customized semi trailer will enhance the services currently provided to people in need, said Coastal Harvest Executive Director Brent Hunter, and take the place of an older trailer that was due for retirement.
Coastal Harvest, based in Hoquiam, is a distribution center supporting 60 food pantries and feeding programs around Southwest Washington.
“The coronavirus pandemic moved up our plans for an eventual replacement. We felt now was the time to make a move and upgrade,” said Hunter.
The trailer was designed with a “mobile market” concept and custom-built by NW Mobile Kitchens in Portland, Ore. It is unique to the area and might be the first of its kind in Washington, said Hunter, and is equipped to safely distribute all types of food: shelf-stable, fresh, refrigerated and frozen.
Once the truck is parked at a given location, market-style displays will be opened all around the exterior so clients can walk around to pick and choose the foods that will fill their specific family needs. This will allow Coastal Harvest to provide local communities with a better shopping experience, said Hunter.
Due to coronavirus concerns, the option to pick and choose foods will remain limited for the time being. Mobile food bank staff will continue to help with food distribution until health restrictions are eased.
After testing and equipment practice, the new mobile market will roll out in the next few weeks.
“We are excited to move forward with this new model,” said Hunter. “It will make a big difference in the areas the mobile food bank program currently serves.”