BALTIMORE — A new kind of food truck will be hitting the streets on the Eastern Shore within the next month.
But it won't be selling tacos or ice cream.
The Maryland Food Bank Mobile Market is a pantry-on-wheels that will have free food staples for people living in areas that are considered to be food deserts, said Jennifer Small, a regional director for the Maryland Food Bank.
"There are areas where individuals and their families are challenged by geography, by transportation so they don't have the immediate access that others that don't have to face those barriers," she said. "The Mobile Market will enable us to go into those communities and target those families and really meet them right where they are."
Small said they decided to roll out the first Mobile Market on the Eastern Shore in part because four of the the top six food-insecure counties in the state are located on the Eastern Shore. She said Perdue Farms also partnered with the Food Bank to financially support the Mobile Market.
"Not only will we be able to have a grocery-style shopping experience for our clients that they can shop and pick the groceries that they want, but as we get to learn our clients needs, we'll also be able to bring in supportive services beyond food," Small said.
All of the food on the Mobile Market will be free and provide a combination of fresh foods like fruits and vegetables along with non-perishable food items.
Small said many of the people they serve daily at the Food Bank are those who they describe as "the working poor". They are people who make a little too much income to qualify for federal benefits and are considered food insecure, which means they don't know when or where they'll get their next meal. She said often they must choose to pay for things like rent and utilities over food.
"Our clients will be able to come in here and access products free of charge, which will help them save on resources that they're going to need to put toward their other expenses."
The Maryland Food Bank is hoping other businesses will partner with them so they can launch more Mobile Markets, especially in the Baltimore area.