Hurricane Harvey left an unprecedented six Feeding Texas network food banks offline following the storm. Food banks in regions untouched by Harvey sprung to action to make sure the needs of their sister food banks were met.
Working in partnership with Feeding Texas and the Emergency Outreach Center, the West Texas Food Bank was given priority access to impacted areas to deliver food and resources to people in need.
A year after the storm passed, West Texas Food Bank collaborated with Feeding Texas and Occidental Petroleum to bring a first of its kind Disaster Response Mobile Pantry to the state.
“I am so excited to launch the new Disaster Response Mobile Pantry for many reasons,” West Texas Food Bank Executive Director Libby Campbell explained. “The Mobile Pantry is going to be such an asset for disaster response in the state. Of course, we hope to never be called out to a disaster, but we are on the ready should one arise.”
Built by Cruising Kitchens in San Antonio, the Mobile Pantry is completely self-sustained. A generator powers mobile refrigerators and freezers, as well as lighting, the public address system and even air conditioning. The mobile pantry is also connected to H.A.M. radio, which will keep lines of communication open in the event of lost cell phone coverage.
The Disaster Response Mobile Pantry will serve the 19 counties of the West Texas Food Bank, and is on-call and available to other areas in the state should an emergency or disaster arise. The pantry is capable of serving around 200 families when fully stocked.