How to Use Your Bookmobile in Partnership with a Local Food Bank

Volunteers sorting food donations

For years, bookmobiles have been used by library districts around the country to bring books and library resources to schools, rural towns, and various locations. This helps ensure that the local community has equal access to everything the library has to offer.

But bookmobiles are also becoming a widely used community resource that offers more than simply a place to check out a book. In many communities, bookmobiles are being used in partnership with other resource-focused services.

For districts interested in getting more use out of their bookmobiles, one partnership to consider is working with a local food bank. This partnership can help ensure that those in the community who are facing food shortages are easier to reach, which is more important now than ever before.

The following are some of the best ways that this partnership can help benefit everyone involved.

Visit Rural Communities Together

For those who live in rural communities, it can be hard to access assistance when it is needed. Food banks that are miles and miles away can become unreachable for those who are already struggling to make ends meet. Many times those who need the assistance of a food bank are without reliable transportation.

This is where bookmobiles can help food banks increase their reach. By working together, a library and food bank can set up shop together in these rural communities. The benefits of doing so are immense.

For starters, patrons who already trust the library and value this resource might be more likely to accept the help of the food bank when they show up together. Additionally, visiting these communities in conjunction can help cut down on costs. The library and food bank can share the burden of transportation costs, further increasing the potential for their reach.

Curate a Collection on Nutrition

Food banks are designed to help those in need access groceries and other household essentials. But they are also focused on ensuring that community members in need are receiving adequate and healthy nutrition.

For bookmobiles, this provides a great opportunity to further this cause. Libraries can curate books and other resources focused on education around proper nutrition and can bring these collections to local food banks. While community members visit the food bank to pick up their groceries, they can also stop in and access books and other reading material around nutrition and health.

As an added bonus, consider working with a local health care center to provide onsite vaccination clinics and wellness screenings. This can go a long way in improving the health and wellness of a community.

Gather Donations

Food banks rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses to keep their shelves stocked. A bookmobile can cover a lot of pavement which makes the perfect spot for accepting donations.

Consider setting up a donation bin with a list of items that are needed. As patrons visit the bookmobile, let them know how they can help.

Additionally, around the holidays, bookmobiles can host food drives aimed at ensuring everyone has access to a holiday meal. Canned goods and other shelf-stable items can be collected around the community and brought to the food bank before the busy holiday rush.

Raise Awareness About Resources

Often, bookmobiles are used to reach underserved communities. Within these communities, there are many people who are in need of the resources that day centers and food banks provide. But, due to geographical constraints, they may not be aware of all the resources a city offers.

In this way, a bookmobile can help raise awareness about the local food bank’s programs. They can share information about hours, how to access the food bank, and what resources are available. This can help to ensure that food banks are reaching as many people as possible.

Reach Families in Need Through Their Kids

In many communities, bookmobiles are a favorite of kids. Whether it is during a visit to their school or their local community center, kids will often flock to bookmobiles to check out books, access computer labs, and attend storytimes or other events.

In some cases, these kids come from homes where food shortages are a concern. Through these children, bookmobiles have a unique chance to reach their families with information about what resources are available. This can be particularly beneficial in areas where language barriers exist, as the children in a home are often the sole English speaker. Through the help of a bookmobile, children can bring home information about the food bank, helping to bridge an important gap in community outreach.

Design a Bookmobile with Summit Bodyworks

Interested in using a bookmobile to reach your community? At Summit Bodyworks, we have years of experience assisting library districts with the design and build of bookmobiles. We can work with you to create a bookmobile that offers far more than simply a mobile library to your community. Whether you partner with a local food bank or other community resource centers, a bookmobile is a great way to increase your reach.

To see our work in action, check out some of our recent customer builds. Our goal is to ensure that at the end of the build, you have the perfect bookmobile for your community’s specific needs. Reach out to learn more about our work today.