With spring upon us and warmer weather headed our way, it’s now a better time than ever to look for ways to safely reach our communities by providing much needed assistance through resources like food and health services. These services can empower those around you while giving people an opportunity to connect with your company. Whether your organization focuses on community outreach and disaster relief or you are simply a brand who wants to give back, the need for more effective community services will always exist.
One great tool that your company can use to fulfill this need is a mobile outreach unit. Mobile outreach units offer a unique opportunity to reach communities directly in a convenient and self-contained environment, rather than forcing them to come to you. These units can be customized according to the purpose they are intended to achieve, while still giving your organization a chance to stand out.
Did you know that roughly 23.5 million Americans lack access to affordable and healthy food in their communities? Campaigns like Mercy Brown Bag and Redwood Empire Food Bank aim to alleviate the strain that this causes on members of these communities by utilizing vehicles and trailers to create mobile grocery stores. These groceries carry fresh produce, which they distribute at little or no cost in areas where residents usually have trouble accessing these types of foods. These refrigerated units are able to keep produce fresh while traveling or staying stationary for long periods of time and are built to allow easy access to the food while in setup mode.
Other organizations have sought to use mobile units to bring full ready-to-eat meals to communities in need. There are many instances in which a service like this is valuable, including during community events, at schools, and in emergency response situations. The goal in these situations is to meet a community’s needs both in the short and long term, so alongside meals, organizations can provide other essential supplies such as diapers, toiletries, and coats to the people they are serving. The Salvation Army Rapid Response Unit, which utilizes custom large format printing very well, is an excellent example of an organization using vehicles to distribute meals in times of crisis. When an emergency occurs, the Rapid Response Unit accompanies the Salvation Army's efforts on the front lines, offering meals, snacks, and drinks to rescue workers and survivors.
In addition to Rapid Response Units, mobile kitchen units can be used to prepare and serve ready-to-eat meals. Mobile kitchens can be modified trucks, trailers, and shipping container kitchen conversions.
Another crucial service that many low-income areas are in need of is quality healthcare and medical services. If you are a healthcare company or an organization with the capability to provide basic health services, finding a way to go directly to people in need will help eliminate some of the barriers they face in accessing healthcare. A fully customized mobile clinic has the space and power to host any necessary equipment as well as doctors and patients, while being able to travel where it is needed most. These units can be modified trucks, trailers, or containers. Traditionally, these often take the form of disaster response units or clinics for vulnerable populations, but recently many COVID-19 testing and vaccination centers have also been popping up across the country.
Community Building and Fundraising:
Sometimes, community outreach programs can simply exist to boost morale while fostering positivity and unity during a difficult period of time. For instance, at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the Rise Up For Heroes initiative set out to show appreciation for essential workers across the Greater St. Louis region, while encouraging the community to join in and donate to a COVID-19 Regional Response Fund. As part of this initiative, during the month of April 2020, Rise Up For Heroes coordinated with local businesses to illuminate buildings across the city in blue lights, encouraged community members to publicly celebrate healthcare workers at 7:00 each evening, and paraded six branded “care-avan” units through the city’s neighborhoods alongside a DJ truck, mascots, announcers, sports alum, local politicians, and other local authorities.
There are, of course, many ways besides these that organizations can launch community outreach initiatives, but hopefully these will help inspire you to look for ways that your own business may be able to do so. For more examples and ideas, browse our website or reach out to one of our team members today.