The Foodmobile – A Vehicle for Serving Hungry People

Posted Saturday, June 10, 2017

Photo of food-mobile

The Foodmobile is a retrofitted 22-foot shuttle bus equipped with a wheelchair lift, wire shelving, generator, and refrigerator. In every practical way, emergency food services provided through the Foodmobile are identical to those at our food shelf sites. All Keystone food shelf sites (including the Foodmobile) use a “client choice” system, giving individuals the opportunity to select from fresh, frozen and packaged foods according to their family’s needs.

The Foodmobile travels to neighborhoods identified as high need but with limited access to nutritious food sources. We bring our service to low-income people within walking distance of their homes and now they can step onto our Foodmobile and walk home with healthy food.

The Foodmobile makes stops at 13 different locations in St. Paul, Roseville and Little Canada. During a typical two-hour distribution shift, nearly 300 pounds of food is disbursed. Ilon Preston, Keystone’s Mobile Distribution Manager, enjoys that he can drive up to a site and help 20+ people get healthy food. “Clients are surprised by the variety of food they get and I’m happy that the food is all really delicious and nutritionally dense,” Preston said.

Clients and community partners are appreciative of the program. The Foodmobile has two distributions at Central Towers, a high rise apartment complex downtown St. Paul that serves low-income seniors. 97% of Central Tower residents live on less than $10,000 a year.  Kirsten, the Residence Services Director at Central Towers, knows that food insecurity is a problem for their residents. “The closest grocery store to the apartment complex is out of their price range so most residents shop at convenience stores. The Foodmobile gives them access to healthier options, including fresh produce,” Kirsten said.