Three new refrigerated trailers that are part of a $315,000 investment by Washington Gas to support food security will increase food storage capacity, reduce food waste, and create sustainable infrastructure to respond to future food system disruptions, according to a Washington Gas press release.
The initiative announced this week includes three new refrigerated trailers that will be used to help the project’s partners purchase, upgrade, and design a wrap for the refrigerators, as well as enable food assistance providers and food pantries to distribute more fresh food to residents in need.
“Cold storage space has been a major challenge for food assistance organizations and food pantries throughout the county,” FEC Director Sydney Daigle said in the release. “The increased demand on local service organizations requires more food and more space to store that food. If an organization can’t properly store the food they’re receiving, they’ll have to limit the amount they’re bringing in. By increasing the amount of space organizations have to properly store healthy food and keep it fresh, organizations can serve more families in need. That’s a huge win for our county.”
The three new 58 x 8-foot cold storage trucks will each be shared by at least four neighboring organizations. Participating organizations will work together to purchase perishable foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy that will be stored in the shared refrigerated space, according to the release, which adds that the new space helps increase the amount of food that can be stored and distributed while also reducing the amount of perishable food wasted due to insufficient cold storage space.
Washington Gas also sees this as an opportunity to continue its support of immediate and long-term food security needs in the region, part of the company’s wider giving strategy supporting social service organizations throughout the DC-region.
“We applaud our partners at the Prince George’s County Food Council for the innovative approach of adding cold food storage capacity to better meet the critical needs of our community,” Blue Jenkins, Washington Gas president, added. “As a provider of essential and reliable energy services to the region and members of this community, we are committed to giving back and supporting our neighbors in need with essential fresh foods. We recognize that food insecurity issues have grown significantly during the pandemic, and we all have a role to play in caring for our communities.”

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