United Way of Central Florida working to eliminate food insecurity in Mulberry
LAKELAND, Fla. | United Way of Central Florida, Personal Finance Center of Polk County and Feeding Tampa Bay are providing residents of the Mulberry area with fresh food to turn the Mulberry food desert into an oasis.
Thanks to UWCF’s End Hunger initiative, a mobile food pantry is giving local residents access to fresh produce, frozen meat and other nutritious food that was previously unavailable in their area.
“One down,” said Penny Borgia, UWCF Chief Operations Officer. “We are pleased to provide meat and fresh produce to Mulberry residents and are eager to reduce food insecurity in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.”
The mobile food pantry is available every other week at 1392 N. Church Ave. in Mulberry and is capable of providing two weeks worth of frozen meat, fresh produce and dry goods to 400 families.
Food deserts are defined as areas without access to grocery stores or farmers’ markets but are surrounded by fast food and convenience stores.
Several areas in Central Florida have been identified as a food desert, including Crystal Lake, Frostproof and Lake Placid.
“Those who have taken advantage of the food drops have really appreciated it” said Tarrel Davis, Executive Director of Personal Finance Center. “Some of these people simply are not able to travel far for groceries, let alone to the next town with a Publix. I’m sure many people all over the tri-county area could use a program like this.”