By Johnny Lawhon, Staff Reporter
Recent cold weather has led to cancellations of the High Plains Food Bank produce truck on the Washington Street Campus, according to emails Amarillo College officials have sent out to students.
“The rule of thumb, according to the Food Bank, is cancellation of scheduled giveaways occurs when the temperature dips below 40 degrees or if there is snow on the ground or precipitation occurs at the time of distribution,” the email said.
These cancellations occur to prevent people from having to wait outside in bad weather conditions, said Justin Young, the nutrition director of the HPFB and one of the people who runs the mobile harvest program. There also tends to be low attendance during these times as well, Young said.
The produce truck is scheduled to come to the campus every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. The truck comes twice in the same day to give students who work a chance to get food as well in the evenings, Dr. Claudie Biggers, a biology professor, said.
“The truck seems to be meeting a need,” she said.
The produce truck has been visiting the Washington Street Campus since fall of 2019. To date, more than 30,000 pounds of vegetables have been given away.
For more than five years, AC officials had been searching for a way to provide students with a fresh produce, Biggers said. Different options were considered, but officials chose the mobile harvest program.
“The number of produce recipients each week varies between 150 to 200 people at Amarillo College,” Young said.
AC graduate Nathaniel Montoya said he appreciated the food truck because it gave him “valuable food without having to travel off campus.”
“I believe it helps students who might have been shy to go to the actual food bank. Also, for me personally I wasn’t much of a fruit eater, but after the food truck came, I started expanding my diet with healthier choices,” he said.
The truck will be located near the pedestrian bridge on SW 24th Street.