A food desert in North Palm Springs will soon get healthier options, free of charge for residents.
City officials announced this week that a partnership with FIND Food Bank will see food distributions twice a month through a mobile food pantry at James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 Tramview Road. The program grew out of a City Council Business Retention Subcommittee meeting with local residents and the business community, held every other month.
The neighborhood has long been in need of a grocery store. Lack of convenient access and transportation for some residents exacerbates the issue. The nearest grocery store in the area is 2.6 miles away.
“Partnering with the City of Palm Springs to bring our mobile food pantry to Desert Highland was a natural fit,” said Debbie Espinosa, CEO of the food bank. “(W)e are excited to begin serving the neighborhood and educating residents about healthy food choices.”
The mobile pantry will offer fresh produce, protein, dairy and grain items. Each family will receive approximately 20-35 pounds of food free of charge. Community healthcare workers will also be on hand to assist residents with referrals to medical and mental health resources, government programs.
Starting tomorrow, Aug. 22, the pantry will operate the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. While the pantry is part of the solution to a lack of quality food in the neighborhood, the city is still pursuing a grocery store to serve the community.
“The Subcommittee is committed to ensuring that no area in our City is a food desert lacking access to fresh food and we will continue our work to bring a grocery store to the area,” said Mayor pro tem Geoff Kors .