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Food Bank rolls out mobile fresh
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Second Harvest Food Bank distributed fresh produce. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Orange colored mesh bags of fruits and vegetables were a gift to hungry, low income Mantecans Good Friday morning to help them stretch their budgets.

The Second Harvest “Mobile Fresh” Food Bank team was in the Sequoia Heights Baptist Church parking lot from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. where some 50 people lined up to help fill their cupboards.

The Mobile Fresh concept is geared toward low income folks or those having a difficult time accessing fresh foods with the mobile food bank serving the first 100 households arriving on site.

Deanna Soares who is in the business of helping others at a local elementary school got in line for the bottled water, apples, oranges, celery, carrots and potatoes.  She is nearing 50 and has two children in college out of state but she is actually starting another family having taken twin 3-year-olds under her wing at home along with a 7-year-old.

Her husband suffers from a medical handicap and she is working to make every cent count in her family to raise their second family.  Soares offered her personal recipe to others showing them how to make non-creamy celery soup from the celery that they were receiving the produce.

She said it takes one potato and one onion, a whole celery chopped up with little water but added chicken broth.  Once that is mixed together, it needs to be boiled out, she said.  Soup out the celery and place it in a bowl, blending the remainder in a blender to give it consistency, she added.  Finally, the celery needs to be added back to the mixture that came out of the blender.

A new truck is being added to the Food Bank’s motor pool with sides that will open out to expose containers of fruits and vegetables to the public.  This will take less effort on the part of staff with more accessibility to the community need.

The Mobile Fresh truck is arriving again at the Sequoia Heights Church on April 17, May 1, May 15, June 26, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21, Sept. 4, Sept. 18, Oct. 2, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Nov. 27 and Dec. 11.  The Sequoia church family is planning to take over the food distribution next year.

The Second Harvest team is recommending that people view Choose to better stay healthy and active.  They suggest a switch to skim or 1% milk, making half the dinner plate contain fruits and vegetables, making at least half the grain consumed whole grains and by varying protein choices and drinking water instead of sugary drinks.