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CHOW's Mobile Grocery Store reaches out to more people at the Department of Social Services

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Affordable fresh food could become a weekly staple for people who need it the most.

Thanks to the Department of Social Services, this mobile grocery store filled it's main street lot.

The Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse, or CHOW, says it will begin stopping in the DSS Lot, providing a new service for the thousand clients the agency serves each month.

Sonja Bennett, Deputy Commissioner of Assistance Programs, said "Food and security is definitely a concern in our community… Our wages are fairly low... children in households... So certainly anyway that folks can get a little bit of assistance is helpful..."   

In addition to its food banks, CHOW partners with over a hundred emergency food programs throughout Broome County to provide affordable produce to those that need it. 

Whether they pay in cash, credit, or even food stamps.

Jack Seman, CHOW Director, said "Downtown Binghamton and the north side are what you would consider a food desert… Which means people living here don't have ready access to a full-service grocery store… Which leads to all kind of things like chronic illness… People are forced to do their shopping at gas stations and dollar stores… So to be able to provide access to low-cost groceries and produce not only helps people with their food insecurity but also with their health issues..."  

The mobile grocery store has been running since 2017 out of a renovated bus, and DSS is hoping that this will become a new scheduled stop. Nancy Williams, Commissioner for DSS and Mental Health, said "So we thought that if we could make the van available to our clients and also actually also to our staff... We have many staff who could also take advantage of the CHOW mobile grocery store... So we thought if we brought it here it would serve the needs of many people"