WF Food Bank to Start Produce Express Program

- Fresh  produce is an important part of a healthy diet but it can be expensive for many families living on tight budgets or difficult to buy for those who can't get to the store often.

And it's also been a problem for the local food bank to obtain on a regular basis to help those families out.

Now, that could be a lot easier.

The Wichita Falls Area Food Bank will soon start a program called Produce Express.

It will provide families in need with more fresh produce and it is all being made possible through a sizable grant and a big, new truck.

Squash, zucchini and other fresh produce does not make it on as many Texoma tables as you might think.

Officials at the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank made that disturbing discovery last year.

"We realized our produce distribution was pretty low.  Probably around 17% in 2012 compared to 25% to 30% across the Feeding America Network.  For us that's not very good," says Jessica Morath, nutrition services manager at the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank.

So the Food Bank took steps to make a change.

"We applied through Feeding American for a grant and received the grant from the David Tepper Charitable Foundation for $150,000 for a refrigerated truck," Morath explains.

The truck is now at the Food Bank.
And soon it will be filled with up to 10,000 pounds of fresh produce from the Tarrant Area Food Bank at least once a week.

"Produce has been a big issue for us."

Lee Skelton is the minister at Seymour Church of Christ.

He's excited about the Produce Express program, which he says will help the church's food ministry feed 150 families each month.

"This will save a lot of our time and energy and be able to do the same thing we're suppose to do at a more cost effective way... so, yea Food Bank," Minister Skelton says.

The new truck will make its first produce run to Fort Worth next week.

And the first distribution of food for the Produce Express program will be during the November 2nd Walk-A-Thon in East Wichita Falls to raise awareness on the high number of diabetes and obesity among Wichita County Youth.

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