Updated: Jul 27
The Food Pantry will be closed June 25th-August 5th to prepare for our mobile services to take over!
We've been keeping some big news under wraps for a while now, and we are finally ready to spill it: We are going to have a Mobile Food Pantry! What does this change mean? If you're familiar with our Greens-N-Grains Food Truck, it will be a similar set-up: We will have a truck that dispenses food at designated sites multiple times a week.
What does going mobile mean for the Food Pantry at 1212 Mariposa?
While we make the transition from a brick-and-mortar pantry to a mobile truck, the Food Pantry is Closed and will Re-Open August 6th. Our Parish Seniors will continue to get their boxes, but unfortunately we cannot keep the Pantry available on Saturdays while we work on refurbishing that space to prepare a staging area for the truck. The changes are coming quickly as we have also had unexpected staffing shortages. As we've tried to roll with the punches during the month of June, it has been a struggle to prepare enough food for Saturdays and to have the right amount of staff and volunteers to check participants in and guide them through selecting what they'd like.
Our pantry is one of the few in this area of Denver, so we always grapple with the challenge of taking a resource away from our community. For the sake of long-term planning, we believe it is a worthwhile investment, and at the bottom of this post we have a list of alternative resources our neighbors can turn to in the meantime.
Why is the DICP Food Pantry going mobile?
Back in the fall of 2021, some of our staff went on a research trip to the east coast to explore how similar organizations serve their communities and what kind of programming we could add or improve at DICP. We were able to meet with some incredible people that are innovating how human services nonprofits operate. This trip was so inspiring in all sorts of ways, and led us to rethink how we could best help our participants. After the trip, not to mention the success of the GNG Food Truck, we planned to implement a Mobile Pantry model. One of our biggest hopes for this program is to reach all of our participants who have been pushed out of the neighborhood near our building.
We received an incredibly generous donation at the beginning of 2022 to purchase a new truck to become our Mobile Pantry, and we even purchased one not long after. We were so excited that we could get our plan on the road so quickly. We took the truck in for some basic checkups and repairs and found out that we only needed to replace one small part to run safely. Unfortunately, we ran into some classic supply chain issues, and after a seven month wait, we purchased a new truck. The truck is on its way and won't be here for our first Mobile Pantry on August 6th, but we are excited to return all the same.
New Changes= New Hires
We are looking for a new Coordinator to help us fulfill our vision of bringing food pantry access across the city. If you or someone you know would be a good fit for organizing mobile sites, coordinating food pickups, and compassionately serving the community, check out our open job postings!
The good news is: we have some exciting new plans that will help us serve more participants more equitably. (Check out this post about how mobile pantries are taking over the world)
The bad news is: June 25th will be our last day of the Food Pantry and we will have to shut it down for at least three weeks after that. Here are some alternatives participants can turn to:
Our pantry space will undergo some light construction to convert it into a staging area for the food we will distribute in the Mobile Pantry
We have purchased a new vehicle to be the Mobile Pantry! It's arrived at DICP, but we can't promise when exactly it will be ready.
As always, we appreciate your understanding and support!