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The Eastern Illinois Foodbank is able to serve small communities more efficiently with its new Foodmobile.

Whereas previously, mobile food distributions involved towing the food to a specific location and unloading it all, the new truck has sides that roll up to allow workers to serve straight out of the truck.

The older truck is “much more labor intensive and doesn’t really fit a smaller community, just because of the way all of the product is unloaded and set up,” said KELLY DALY, the food bank’s president and CEO. “This truck will allow us to go into smaller communities with smaller amounts of product and serve them more efficiently.”

The Foodmobile will make its first trip Saturday: a stop from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Bement Lions Club, 201 S. Champaign St., Bement. The food bank will also hold distributions June 12 at Southview Upper Elementary School in Danville and Normal Community West High School. On June 19, the Foodmobile will make a stop at the Clinton American Legion.

Those planning on attending one of the distributions are asked to preregister at eifclient.com.

The food bank will still use its larger trucks for bigger distributions, but the Foodmobile offers the flexibility to target small towns and also better serve neighborhoods with a higher cultural concentration, Daly said. For instance, in communities with a higher Hispanic population, the truck can offer residents food “that’s familiar and important to them,” Daly said.

In the future, it may also allow for distributions at times other than Saturday mornings.

“I think we’ll be able to take the truck in in a very efficient manner, roll up the sides, hold the food distribution, and serve smaller communities in a very effective way,” Daly said.

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