Access Community Action Agency Mobile Food Pantry Visits Sterling to Address Food Insecurities

On Tuesday, May 18, the Access Mobile Food Pantry officially returned to one of its mobile distribution sites at the Sterling Town Hall. Food will be distributed every 1 st & 3 rd Tuesday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Since 2013, our Mobile Food Pantry has been bringing fresh, healthy food directly to underserved communities throughout the region. Set up similar to a farmers’ market, Access’s mobile pantry distributes fresh fruit and vegetables, proteins, and other surplus items to any family needing assistance. Families are advised to bring a form of ID and their own bags.  The pantry distributes food for 1-2 hours at each location, and each household receives approximately a week’s worth of food.
The mobile pantry is a critical extension of the work of the Access Food Pantry and focuses on bringing fresh produce, proteins, and healthy snacks directly to those most at-risk for food insecurity in Windham and Tolland Counties. In our last fiscal year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020), the Access Food Pantry provided 4,730 adults and 1,632 children the supplemental food equivalent of 78,192 meals; and 3,300 of them received their meals from our mobile food pantry.  According to Access’s last Community Needs Assessment, there is a great need for food security in both Windham and Tolland Counties. Access Mobile Food Van distributes food to 4 towns identified as food insecure in Windham and Tolland Counties. The food distribution towns are Stafford, Willington, Eastford, and Sterling. Overall, 12.4% of Connecticut households reported not having enough money to buy food to meet their family needs in the last 12 months. Among the food insecure households, 61.6% reported that this happened almost every month or some months but not every month. Distribution sites are determined based on both where the most people in need can be reached and areas of Windham and Tolland Counties that are considered “food deserts”; where there is no large, retail grocery store or supermarket and/or where transportation options are limited. Residents may, therefore, be forced to walk long distances to buy food or to purchase it at a higher price at small convenience stores.  Customers in need of Food can call 860-450-7400 ext. 7495 in Willimantic and 860-412-1600 ext. 1647 in Danielson to make an appointment.
The Access Community Action Agency is designated by the federal and state government as the anti-poverty agency in northeast Connecticut.  Access provides food, affordable housing, job readiness services, and other pathways to economic self-reliance for vulnerable limited-income families and individuals throughout the region.


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