Ensuring access to nutritious fare with Nourish Mobile Food Bank

Professor Christine Stevens sheds light on the evolving role of the Nourish Mobile Food Bank in addressing food insecurity and fostering community connections.

Associate Professor Christine Stevens of the UW Tacoma School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership discusses the significant role of the Nourish Mobile Food Bank in addressing food insecurity and community needs on campus. 

The Nourish Mobile Food Bank offers free perishable and non-perishable food options to students, staff, faculty and community members every Thursday 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. The initiative aims to combat hunger and ensure access to nutritious fare for those in need. 

According to Stevens the program’s committed to meeting diverse dietary preferences and cultural needs, acknowledging challenges in maintaining a consistent supply line. Efforts are made to incorporate students’ requests for specific cultural foods whenever possible. 

Despite efforts to adapt and serve the diverse needs of beneficiaries, challenges persist. Supply chain disruptions impact the availability of certain food items, particularly cultural foods requested by students.  

“Right now, we’re dealing with what we can,” said Stevens. “We usually have a range of cultural foods, but at this point, our supply line is not as stable as we’d like it to be.” 

The food truck also faced a setback when its parking access was obstructed a few weeks ago. It was discovered that someone tampered with the cone intended to secure the truck’s designated parking area, resulting in the parking lot entrance. As a consequence, the truck was unable to enter the lot. Despite efforts to ensure uninterrupted service, the incident underscores challenges in maintaining essential services in the face of logistical hurdles. 

Regarding feedback from beneficiaries, Stevens noted an increasing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables, along with suggestions for longer operating hours. Plans are in place to expand services and provide additional support, including nutritional education and resources for international students. 

“We’re consistently getting more families of students coming in, which we welcome,” Stevens said.  

Recognizing the importance of community engagement, efforts are underway to enhance outreach and support services. 

Stevens emphasized the collective responsibility of the UW Tacoma community in supporting each other and ensuring access to essential resources. 

Featured image caption: “Bringing essential sustenance to our community, one meal at a time.” Photo by Nourish Pierce County.