The idea of mobile support and resources is not a new one to Project 70Forward. We understand that our community of people with disabilities need mobile resources transported directly to residents dealing with medical conditions and possible mobility limitations.
But, nothing could prepare us for the pandemic of 2020. Now, the need mushroomed as people heeded stay-at-home orders, quarantines or just left their homes less often. With grocery, food and in some places, portable water shortages happening, it became imperative that safe, sanitized mobile resources ramp up and become available at a moment’s notice.
In early 2020, Kelly’s Kitchen was already on the ground with the idea of pop-up pantries. It was a perfect collaboration for Project 70Forward to connect and make these food pop-ups happen in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Talking with Kelly’s Kitchen was like preaching to the choir! We automatically understood the need for food distribution to become de-centralized and mobile. Food resources needed to come to the people in a safe way. Mobile Pop-up Food Pantries is the best way to do this.
With a combination of generous donations from Kelly’s Kitchen, ethical food rescue and grocery store support, these pop-ups saved food from being thrown away as well as provided families a safe way to receive nutritious food items. This became very important as the pandemic continued throughout the year; as families faced extended shut-downs, unemployment and loss of loved ones. Families of five, single mothers of children with disabilities, mothers dealing with disability while raising children and grandchildren; they all benefited from the pop-up food pantries. Even the ability to provide food items at mask distribution sites, boxed and bagged lunches to families who couldn’t travel to schools distributions, food and vegetable seeds donations to those standing in lines to vote in our historic election, and the regular donations to those serving our homeless neighbors…all stemmed from the idea of the mobile pop-up food pantry and the donations of Kelly’s Kitchen.
Kelly’s Kitchen was and still is an important part of making these pop-ups happen in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their vision and willingness to partner, encourage and support efforts for needy families is exemplary, and this project plan needs to expand to more communities in need."
Judith E. Brown, Executive Director