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Fill the Fridge: Bus repurposed as pop-up food pantry

Harvesters Bus.jpg
Posted at 5:34 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 13:33:10-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A bus stop is usually a place to find people coming and going, but a bus repurposed as a pop-up food pantry also has people staying to find what they need.

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Nathan Howard, food plus manager at Harvesters Community Food Network, said the bus is geared to provide bus riders an increased opportunity to access a food pantry.

Howard recently showed KSHB 41 News anchor Lindsay Shively the first of its kind at East 31st Street and Troost Avenue.

“Getting to either a traditional food pantry or one of our mobile food distributions sometimes require a car,” Howard said. “Putting this conveniently on a bus line really addresses that transportation barrier.”

Breaking down that barrier was important for rider Sterling Oleson.

“I was riding the bus and I saw something,” Oleson said. “I saw Harvesters set up and I was like ‘Whoa, I gotta get to this.’”

The bus features items that are easier to travel with, such as canned foods and cold drinks.

“We like to provide a bit of variety and also things that are easy to carry on and off the bus,” Howard said.

Howard said continued support from the community allows programs like the pop-up food pantry possible.

“Every little bit makes a huge difference for us,” Howard said. “We can only do this with the support of community.”