Three Lake County locations have been picked for the delivery of fresh produce and meats at discounted prices through the Chicago-based nonprofit Top Box Foods.
When the program goes live next month, it will mark the organization’s first food deliveries in Lake County.
The three locations, all considered to be in food deserts, include Calvary Presbyterian Church in Round Lake, the North Chicago Public Library and Carmen-Buckner Elementary School in Waukegan.
Top Box Foods will rotate its food trucks between the locations beginning Sept. 13. The first will run from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Calvary Presbyterian Church, 510 N. Cedar Lake Road.
The fresh foods, which include potatoes, onions, turkey and beef, are purchased in bundles and sold at a 40 percent discount.
Theresa Sacomani, Top Box’s liaison in Lake County, said she has been working with community leaders who have been promoting the discounted food delivery program at summer festivals and fairs.
“The community leaders have done a great job. The word is really getting out,” Sacomani said.
The North Chicago Public Library, 2100 Argonne Drive, will host the second food sale from 3 to 5 p.m. Sept. 17.
It will move to Carmen-Buckner Elementary School, 520 Helmholtz Ave. in Waukegan, from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 20.
North Chicago Library director Joan Battley said organizers discussed hosting the food trucks in other areas, such as the high school or a church, but she felt the library would be a central venue for all residents.
She added that the library is a place that many already visit, some on a daily basis.
“Since we’re the friendliest library, I decided why not us?” Battley said.
The Lake County pilot program will offer $10 produce boxes that include farm-fresh potatoes, carrots, onions, two seasonal varieties of vegetables and two of fruits. Another option is a mega meat box that’s priced according to value with seven to eight meat items. The combination box of meat and produce is sold for $20.
“I was amazed. Everything looked fresh,” Battley said. “The peaches looked big and juicy and like they were just plucked from the tree.”
The program aims to help underserved residents living in food desert areas as well as those who fall within gaps of the food pantry system.
All forms of payment are accepted, including SNAP cards. No proof of income is necessary.
“Just show up and shop,” Sacomani said.