The Giant Co. invests $600K to fund mobile food pantry
Geisinger is partnering with The Giant Co. and Central Susquehanna Opportunities to pilot a mobile food pantry that will serve food-insecure people living in Pennsylvania's Central Susquehanna Valley.
The Giant Co. is committing a total of $597,000 to fund the mobile pantry, including a donation of $325,000 in 2023 in honor of its 100th anniversary to cover startup costs for the initiative. Expected to launch in early 2024, the mobile food pantry will aim to provide fresh, healthy food to 75 households in its first year.
“We’re grateful to The Giant Co. and CSO for their collaboration in bringing healthy food to underserved communities,” said Nancy Lawton-Kluck, Geisinger’s chief philanthropy officer. “It’s a privilege to work with community leaders who share our values as we contribute to healthier, more vibrant neighborhoods.”
According to the state Department of Human Services, more than a million Pennsylvanians were food insecure in 2022.
As an extension of Geisinger’s food-is-health strategy designed to help people with challenges accessing healthy food live well and manage diet-responsive conditions, the client-choice mobile food pantry will launch in targeted underserved areas. The mobile unit will be available for anyone in the community in need of food assistance.
The mobile food pantry is the latest in a long list of projects for which The Giant Co. has partnered with Geisinger to improve health and quality of life for local communities. This includes previous commitments to the Fresh Food Farmacy program, Children’s Miracle Network and Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. In total, The Giant Co. has given more than $8.5 million to Geisinger programs, facilities and initiatives.
“Reducing food insecurity, increasing access to healthy foods and promoting nutrition is a priority for The Giant Co.,” said Nick Koch, head of wellbeing, The Giant Co. “When Geisinger approached us with their idea for a mobile food pantry to help address these issues in their community, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this life-changing program will have on families across the central Susquehanna Valley.”