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CCPC mobile food pantry provides meals, support services to Wasatch Back residents in need

Volunteers and community partners operating the CCPC mobile pantry at Victory at Summit apartments.
Caterina Erlinger
Volunteers and community partners operating the CCPC mobile pantry at Victory at Summit apartments.

The Christian Center of Park City’s mobile food pantry initiative provides food and support services to those in need along Wasatch Back.

Outside the Victory at Summit Apartments Wednesday, Cesi Garcia was at the mobile food pantry filling up grocery bags with fresh vegetables, rice and other dry goods to help with the week’s groceries.

“Everything is so expensive now,” Garcia said. “It depends on my situation. If I can’t afford to buy then I come here. And when I can afford it then I don’t come, I buy,” Garcia said.  

Originally from Guerrero, Mexico, Garcia now resides in Alpine Village and works for a cleaning service.

Recent increases in rent and food costs have been a challenge for some local families. Garcia said she’s grateful for the support the program provides in the community.

“The best thing is that when they give out a lot, at least I can share it with other people,” she said.

Launched five years ago as an extension of CCPC’s pantry, the mobile food service provides fresh produce, meat, canned foods, dry goods, baked goods, and sanitary products on a weekly basis.

“Bringing services to these apartment complexes is great. And whether it's rental assistance or landlord mediation, assistance with pets, with your family members, engaging with outreach officers from the police department, health concerns with People's Health Clinic and the health department, it's just a great way to receive a lot of services all at once.” CCPC program director Matt Melville said.

He said the purpose of the program is to bring resources to people within their communities, rather than ask them to travel to a single location.

The program has grown to include a rotating group of community partners to round out the service offerings. Those include Park City Police, Mountain Meditation Center, Nuzzles and Co., and more.

“The goal is we want as many services as possible that can help the people we're serving. So the key to all of this was providing food, free food, no questions asked … and then provide additional wraparound services," Melville said. 

Matt Melville, director of programs at CCPC at the mobile food pantry outside Victory at Summit apartments.
Caterina Erlinger
Volunteers and community partners operating the CCPC mobile pantry at Victory at Summit apartments.

Since May, about 280 Park City households have benefited from the mobile pantry’s services, including the 160 adults and 70 children from 55 families who were at the Victory at Summit apartments last week.

The weekly events are meant to be family-friendly and an inviting place for children. On Wednesday, lawn games were set up, and the volunteers brought music and books.

The program runs from May to September, to support families when school is out and the weather allows. The mobile pantry targets low income housing areas and moves to rotating locations across the Wasatch Back. They are in Park City most Wednesdays and in Heber most Thursdays.

Park City’s food pantry supplies most of the goods on board the mobile unit, with some help from a pantry in Heber. CCPC also has secured grants to purchase fresh meat and produce from local farmers and ranchers. Summit Community Gardens also provides some fresh produce.

“Most of our stuff comes from food rescue from our local stores and food drives. That's where we get our main source of food from those donations, monetary donations, food donations, diaper donations, dog food, all of those kinds of things.” Heber pantry assistant manager Valeria Cruz said.

CCPC’s fixed pantry allows each Summit County resident two visits per month. The mobile pantries have a ‘no questions asked’ approach, where attendees are only prompted to state the number of members in their households.

A complete list of the mobile pantry’s service dates and locations is a available at Food Pantry | Christian Center of Park City (ccofpc.org) .