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Publix, Treasure Coast Food Bank team up to fight food insecurity with mobile food pantry

The mobile food pantry was stocked with fruits and vegetables on Tuesday. (WPEC)
The mobile food pantry was stocked with fruits and vegetables on Tuesday. (WPEC)
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September is Hunger Action Month, and as we all know, food prices are still sky high.

Publix is teaming up with the Treasure Coast Food Bank to help families put fresh healthy food on the table. The grocery store funded a mobile food pantry, which is the third mobile grocery helping the Treasure Coast Food Bank get food to those who can’t always afford supermarket prices.

“Right now, obviously it’s more important than ever, when you do have times of inflationary times, you want to make sure you can even do more for the consumer,” said Todd Jones, the CEO of the supermarket chain.

“We’re looking at 250,000 each week that we’re working with and we’re trying to provide them the basic needs that they need to survive,” added Judy Cruz, the CEO of the Treasure Coast Food Bank.

Food bank volunteers and Publix employees packed boxes of food, and the new mobile pantry brings those supplies to where they’re needed most.

“This allows us to go into small blocks, into communities that are really struggling with finding nutritious options for their pantries,” Cruz explained.

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Fruits and vegetables are key, because while fast food is often the most affordable option, it’s not the healthiest choice.

Cruz says this is the best way for the food bank to get fresh, healthy options to everyone who needs them, especially kids. Jones is grateful to be part of the solution.

“Zero cost to the customer, so they’re going to be able to come in, get produce, at no cost and I think it’s just going to be a wonderful program,” Jones remarked.

“It’s hard for people to accept food assistance and to really admit that they are struggling to put food on their tables, so these different types of programs allow people to access food the way they feel comfortable,” Cruz tacked on.

Cruz sees these trucks as an integral part of their future feeding families.

“The hope is that it’ll be extremely successful, and it’ll be a model that we can replicate throughout the Treasure Coast," she told CBS12 News Tuesday.

The mobile food pantry will be on the road today, and Cruz says a second one is already on order.

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