Mobile Food Pantry Set to Patrol Port Chester and Ossining Communities
Yesterday, Tuesday, April 11th, was the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new mobile food pantry van which will service Port Chester and Ossining. The mobile van is thanks to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding awarded by the Westchester Department of Planning. Westchester County Executive George Latimer held the ribbon as it was cut by Westchester Commissioner of Planning Norma Drummond and Executive Director of Caritas of Port Chester Bill Cusano during a live streamed press conference, which you can watch below.
A bright blue mobile food pantry will now patrol the streets of Port Chester and Ossining. Caritas of Port Chester, a neighborhood soup kitchen and food pantry, will be operating the vehicle. Caritas was awarded $287,500 by Westchester County to purchase the van to give anyone food, drink, clothing and other emergency services. The van will also be used for home delivery of groceries, fresh produce and meals to those who are unable to access a food pantry in Port Chester and Ossining communities.
The CDBG funding was used to purchase the pantry truck, hire staff to manage the sourcing an allocation of farm fresh produce, purchase refrigeration for the truck, and for the purchase of shelving, mats and bins for storage.
The ribbon cutting of Caritas's new mobile food pantry coincides with National Community development Week. National Community Development Week was created in 1986 to bring attention to the CDBG program, at a time when the program was facing scrutiny by Congress. The week-long celebration is now used as an opportunity for communities to promote, educate, and advocate on behalf of the Housing and Urban Development program.