(Topeka, Kan.) May 23, 2017 —Harvesters—The Community Food Network today launched an effort to use two former Topeka Metro buses to help feed the hungry in Shawnee County.
Topeka Metro donated a large and small bus to Harvesters. The buses have been re-purposed and will be used to supplement the food bank’s efforts to feed hungry seniors and children in Topeka and throughout the food bank’s 26-county service area.
“Topeka Metro is so pleased that the two donated buses, which had a combined mileage of over 700,000, are able to have a second life through Harvesters,” said Topeka Metro General Manager Susan Duffy. “The Topeka community will benefit greatly from fresh, healthy food delivered directly to the citizens who need it most.”
The large bus will serve as a food pantry on wheels and will primarily be used to distribute fresh produce to seniors. Fresh produce is one of the most requested items of food pantry clients, but is often difficult for food-insecure people to afford or access. Research shows when seniors have access to healthy, nutritious food they are able to live independently in their homes longer. Seniors live on fixed incomes and often have to make difficult choices. Sixty-three percent of seniors must choose between paying for medicine or buying food.
The small bus will be used to enhance the food bank’s nutrition outreach and to provide meals for children through Kids Cafe, Harvesters’ feeding program that provides free meals to children age 1-18 after school and in the summer. More than 8,700 children in Shawnee County are at risk of hunger.
“We are grateful for the generous donation from Topeka Metro,” said Valerie Nicholson-Watson, Harvesters President and CEO. “We are able to re-purpose these buses and use them to provide another much-needed service in the community. Access to food is often a big barrier for people and these buses will allow us to expand our reach and feed more people in need.”
To find summer Kids Cafe sites in and around the Topeka area, visit Harvesters website at www.harvesters.org and click on “Get Help”.
Harvesters—The Community Food Network s is this region’s Feeding America food bank and was named Feeding America’s 2011 Food Bank of the Year. Serving a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas, Harvesters provides food and related household products to more than 620 not-for-profit agencies including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children’s homes and others. Agencies in Harvesters’ network provide food assistance to as many as 141,500 different people each month. Harvesters operates two distribution facilities: one in Kansas City and one in Topeka. Harvesters, which was founded in 1979, is a certified member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, serving all 50 states. For more information, visit www.harvesters.org.