Free fruits and vegetables will be distributed in Seaside and Astoria now through September.

The Clatsop Community Action Regional Food Bank Mobile Produce Pantry will be in Astoria from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays in the 200 block of Marine Drive between Second and Third streets; and in Seaside from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursdays at the Seaside Factory Outlet Center, 1111 N. Roosevelt Drive.

This project is directly related to the CCA Food Bank Fresh initiative launched in 2012. “Food Bank Fresh provides forms of access and education,” says Marlin Martin of CCA Regional Food Bank, “but most importantly an opportunity for low-income residents to make healthier food choices during visits to our partner agency distribution sites; and now directly from CCA Regional Food Bank Mobile Produce Pantry sites every week.”

These free fruits and vegetables are in addition to the food people receive during regular visits to a food pantry, and are designed to complement the activities already in motion at CCA Regional Food Bank partner agencies around the county.

This is a pilot program, but once in full swing, it is conceivable to distribute an additional 10,000 to 15,000 pounds of fresh produce each month to Clatsop County residents through mobile produce pantries. Possibilities of expanding to Warrenton and Cannon Beach are being discussed.

Much of the fresh produce received at the CCA Regional Food Bank comes directly from the efforts of Oregon Food Bank. The regional food bank also receives fresh produce donations from local industry donors through the Fresh Alliance program, and from a growing number of gardeners, farmers, and backyard apple trees.

This year CCA Regional Food Bank production gardens are targeted to produce 3,000 pounds of carrots, grown specifically for the Mobile Produce Pantry and distribution to low-income residents though the work of partner agencies throughout Clatsop County.

For information, to volunteer, or to donate food or funds to this program, call 503-861-FOOD.

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