The MUST Ministries Canton location is partnering with Bethesda Community Clinic to provide its Mobile Medical Unit, offering free healthcare services to anyone in need. The Mobile Medical Unit will be at the Canton MUST location (111 Brown Industrial Parkway) 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.
“MUST is excited to partner with Bethesda Community Clinic to bring free medical care to our Cherokee County clients who don’t have the necessary resources for even the most basic healthcare,” said Dr. Ike Reighard, president and CEO of MUST Ministries.
Every service offered at the Bethesda Community Clinic will be available on the fully equipped mobile unit, including primary care, chronic disease management, women’s health, pediatric care, sick visits and physicals.
In addition to this news, MUST officials are hoping a new Neighborhood Mobile Pantry will be operational by March. Money has been raised to purchase and retrofit a bus to bring food within reach of families who have limited mobility and transportation in Cherokee, Cobb and surrounding counties.
The mobile bus will take fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats, breads, canned goods and dairy, when available, to people living in a food desert, areas where groceries are not within walking distance.
MUST has seen the dramatic growth of suburban poverty in recent years. According to the Brookings Institute, 88% of Atlanta’s poverty now is found in the metro area’s suburbs.
Food insecurity – not knowing where the next meal will come from – is a symptom of suburban poverty that affects 755,400 in metro Atlanta and north Georgia (Feeding America). MUST’s experience shows the greatest challenge clients have in receiving food pantry assistance is transportation. Many low-income families do not have vehicles and public transportation in the suburbs is limited and not affordable.
“For example, MUST has 100 partner school pantries, but only approximately 65% of enrolled families are picking up food on a regular basis, mainly due to a lack of transportation,” Reighard said.
The Neighborhood Mobile Pantry will be 40 feet by 8 1/2 feet and will include a three-panel freezer and a three-panel refrigerator. More details available at www.mustministries.org.