AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Bringing fresh produce to those who might not otherwise have access to it, The High Plains Food Bank’s Mobile Harvest truck rolls into Amarillo College’s Washington Street Campus once a week.
It helps to round out the help students already get from the food pantry on campus and is growing right along with the needs students and staff have.
The location is easy to find on-campus–and the converted food truck turned mobile harvest distribution center, is easy to spot.
“This truck attracts all kinds of curiosity, and then they come and they’re in need and then they end up getting their fruits and vegetables,” said Claudie Biggers, Ph.D., who worked to develop the fresh food distribution partnership with the Food Bank.
“When we were in the pandemic,” Dr. Biggers said, “We saw record numbers of students coming through to get vegetables just so that we can get something that fits healthy choices, and make that an option. We also have a food bank here at the college. And so they work really well together, they can get shelf-stable food at the food bank, but they can also get produce and healthy foods out here.”
Dr. Biggers wanted to provide access to fresh produce for her students, and she says this partnership was a great way to make it happen. She says it was especially helpful during the pandemic.
“There’ll be times when we have some really great produce. But the neat thing about the gardeners at the High Plains Food Bank is they always have something.” Dr. Biggers said, “One time when the actual distribution numbers were low for or oduce, they brought fresh flowers. And that was a hit.”
“I appreciate the College,” said Amarillo College Student Dustin Francis, “Everything they do is amazing. It’s helped me get through the year and a half I’ve been here and I don’t know what I’d do without them.”
It’s a partnership Dr. Biggers sees continuing for as long as there are hungry students at AC.
“They’re visionary because they’ve worked with a lot of entities to bring health through nutrition. And they just have limitless ideas. So the growth is really dependent on which direction they want to go.” said Dr. Biggers.