This program focuses on restoring traditional Wabanaki food systems that support health, wellness, culture, values, communities, and families by rebuilding relationships with the land, water, plants, and animals that have sustained us since time immemorial. By focusing on the development and strengthening efforts to build traditional food systems we are also empowering tribal households and communities to address issues of hunger and health by cultivating their own healthy, fresh foods. This program will focus on traditional teachings, values, and Wabanaki culture by conducting culturally-based wellness activities such as the gathering, growing, educating, and eating of traditional foods, traditional physical activities, and providing activities to foster strong social support within the community.
What is the Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry?
The Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry is a food truck that delivers food to tribal communities. There is no cost to the community for this service. The goal of the Wabanaki Traditional Foods Mobile Food Pantry is to increase access to healthy, traditional, and nutritious foods. The foods provided through the Wabanaki Traditional Foods Mobile Food Pantry are intended to supplement the tribal food pantries with traditional foods, as well as provide a mobile unit that has the space to store large amounts of foods when the community requests a need or when Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness (WPHW) procures large quantities of healthy and nutritious food. The mobile food pantry is intended to supplement the resources of the food pantry and not take the places of the tribal food pantries.
Click here to read the article ‘Wabanaki Public Health & Wellness Unveils Mobile Food Pantry’ and watch the WABI5 video
How will the food be distributed?
The Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry truck will park 30 minutes prior to distribution time. The site coordinator will help unload and set up. Products are set out on the tables for people to choose from. Once the distribution begins, tribal/community members can choose items they need, packing their own bags as they go along. The site coordinator will be stationed behind the tables to restock items as needed.
The mobile food pantry will make regularly scheduled deliveries to each of the five tribal communities in Maine. The pantry will meet the needs of tribal members where they are located, including those in tribal recovery homes and peer centers located outside of the tribal communities.
How often will the Mobile Pantry visit each community?
Food will be distributed on a monthly schedule, subject to change according to the needs of each community.
How long is the Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry food distribution?
The Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry distribution is scheduled for 1 ½ hours. Distribution may be longer if there are still tribal/community members who are waiting to be served. The Wabanaki Traditional Foods Mobile Food Pantry will arrive a half-hour prior to the start of the distribution to set up.
What kinds of foods will the Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry food distribute?
The Wabanaki Traditional Foods Mobile Food Pantry will distribute healthy and nutritious foods such as fresh produce, water, and traditional foods. Examples of some traditional foods that will be distributed, but are not limited to, are fiddleheads, corn, beans, squash, wild rice, fish, etc.
How is the Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry funded?
The Wabanaki Traditional Foods Mobile Food Pantry is funded through grants received by WPHW.
Who can attend the Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry distribution?
Any tribal/community member is welcome to attend the food distribution. All food is free.
How will I know when the Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry will be in my community?
WPHW advertises the Wabanaki Traditional Foods Mobile Food Pantry. WPHW will post information and schedules on social media, web, and will post fliers in tribal communities and other places with tribal members. A sandwich board sign will also be placed at the distribution site, 3 days prior, listing starting date and time of the distribution.
What kind of record keeping does WPHW do for the Wabanaki Mobile Food Pantry?
We will track a running total of how many people are served for our reporting as well as future reference to determine appropriate amounts of food to distribute to each community.
What happens if there is leftover product?
Leftover product will remain with WPHW and/or the tribal food pantries for future distributions. In the event that the tribal food pantries cannot take in all of the remaining product due to space constraints, WPHW will donate the product to a partner agency/organization.
If you have additional questions, please contact Andrea Sockabasin firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-356-5130.