Putting Hunger in the Rear View

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A Kaiser Permanente Roseville pediatrician launches a reverse food truck project to collect healthy food donations and improve community health.

Zoey Goore, MD, MPH, is passionate about alleviating hunger in her community.

The Kaiser Permanente Roseville pediatrician and her husband, Richard Goore, launched the Sacramento Reverse Food Truck last month with a goal of improving low-income families’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The reverse food truck concept is simple: Instead of making food on the truck and selling it — they take food.

They visit local farmers markets and collect donations of produce that consumers buy and vendors donate, and then deliver it to local food banks. They also intend to take the truck to community events and they accept monetary donations for the food bank as well.

Dr. Goore and her husband recently received a Hunger Hero Award from the River City Food Bank for their volunteer work. InsideKP Northern California spoke with Dr. Goore about California’s only reverse food truck.

How did you dream up this project?

The American Academy of Pediatrics has been focusing on poverty and its effects on the health of children. I did some research and was floored to find that one in four children in Sacramento live in poverty

I spent a lot of time talking to the executive director of the River City Food Bank about hunger in our community, and began working with the Champion Providers on children’s obesity and its link to poverty.

Then my husband heard about a reverse food truck in Minnesota that was a big hit, and he said, ‘This would be a fun way I could help you address hunger in our community.’

Tell us about the actual truck.

Our work is a project of the California Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). AAP received a $25,000 KP Roseville Community Benefit grant, which was used to purchase a 1988 Chevy that looks like an old UPS truck. It has dry storage and a decent amount of refrigerated storage. Graphic designers made us a flashy vehicle wrap because we want the truck to draw attention to our cause. So far, the response to the truck has been very positive.

What are your goals?

We live in a valley where 80 percent of the nation’s fruits and nuts are produced, so it’s inexcusable that many poor families don’t have access to fresh produce. The food bank could use 15,000 pounds of fresh produce to distribute each month — and we want to help them do that.

Over the next few months, we’re focusing on publicizing the truck in the community so people understand what we do. We plan to take it out a couple of times a week to collect donations.

Because we’re a project of AAP, donations to our work are tax deductible. We’ve raised a few thousand dollars from friends and family members, but we’d like to attract more funding to support hiring a low-income person who could manage the truck and volunteers.

How does this project relate to your work at Kaiser Permanente?

As the chief of medical education for the Sacramento Valley, I’m interested in helping Kaiser Permanente physicians think out of the box when it comes to addressing the health of our patients, most of which is affected by what happens outside our hospitals and medical offices.

I hope this project encourages my colleagues to get involved in the community, and use their knowledge of how best to improve health. We can make a difference.

Learn more about the Sacramento Reverse Food Truck.

Discussion4 Comments

  1. This is awesome! I really appreciate your willingness to see a need, make a plan and jump in and do something about it. Thank you for your efforts. May you have continued success in this endeavor.

  2. Wonderful story, wonderful purpose, and wonderful family to dive into the community and help bring healthy foods to those in need. Health, Disease, Obesity are all things we have to address at an early age to have long lasting affects and generational impacts. The ground work done now, with encouragement and support will help lead California into becoming one of the, if not the healthiest state in the USA. I plan to contribute to this fantastic effort.
    Thank you and God bless you Goore family

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