Nutrition On Wheels
By Tina Dirmann
BCBSLA Foundation Staff Writer
What a difference a little paint, determination and general elbow-grease can make! Check out the makeover of our newest mobile pantry truck now rolling through central Louisiana. Amazing before and after photos! The Nutrition on Wheels (N.O.W.) truck, formerly a Miller Light beer truck, now contains a fully equipped kitchen, which can cook demo meals using fresh produce straight out of central Louisiana farms.
The truck is a new program from the Central Louisiana Local Foods Initiative, supported through a nearly $2 million grant from Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation program. The truck will roll through low-income and food desert areas in and around Alexandria.
“Quite frankly, we are so excited to finally make this dream a reality,” said Jayne Wright-Velez, executive director for the Food Bank of Central Louisiana, which will oversee the program. “For the first time, we’ll be able to do cooking demonstrations at food distribution sites, which is important because we can actually show people how to cook the food we’re giving them.”
Sadly, folks today are so used to pre-packaged/fast food service, many no longer know what to do with a fresh zucchini or whole potato or pile of green beans once it’s in their kitchens.
“Especially the younger generation,” Wright-Velez said. “They primarily know microwave-type meals. This is our chance to teach them how to take home that fresh produce and cook it for their families.”
August 20 at 10 a.m. in Oberlin.
September 25 – Winnfield (Winn parish)