December 05, 2017 06:52 PM
On the fourth Wednesday of every month, cheerful volunteers greet dozens of cars rolling through the parking lot at the Solon Springs Community Center.
The Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank truck pulls up there loaded down with around 1,200 pounds of food to set up a mobile food bank.
"Where we bring in the mobile food pantries is where there's either not enough assistance or there's such a great amount of people in need that we need to kind of help stabilize the other food shelves in the area," Program Director Dan Wilson said.
Solon Springs Village President Michael Blaylock helped get the mobile food bank started more than three years ago.
"They were looking at exploring opportunities to do a mobile-type pantry, and Douglas County was an opportunity for them," Blaylock said.
So it opened in July of 2015 and has been increasing the number of households served since.
"We started out with about 30, now we're averaging around right in the low 100s," Blaylock said. "But we've been up to 126, 127 has been our high."
It takes a lot of volunteers to make that happen.
"We have a super group of volunteers -- United Healthcare, the fire department, couple of the local churches," Blaylock said. "We've just got all kinds of people."
Some are even as young as 4.
"Some days I come around and we've got people standing around because we've got so many people here to help out," Blaylock added.
Second Harvest tries to fill the trunks with a variety of food.
"We try to give them one or two frozen meats. Last month, we were giving out turkeys and Thanksgiving pies," Wilson said.
This month, it was ground beef and turkey. Plus, there is more demand for fresh produce.
"Traditional food shelves that are operated in a building are great. They're there all the time," Wilson said. "What we can come in and do is bring in such an enormous amount of food that it really just helps get the food out quickly."
You can donate to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank through WDIO's Trees of Hope campaign. Look for a phone bank during Eyewitness News at Five, Six and Ten. And stop by our annual "Have a Heart, Help a Neighbor" broadcast during Good Morning Northland on Friday, Dec. 8.
Updated: December 05, 2017 06:52 PM
Created: December 05, 2017 09:59 AM
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