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Tyson Grant Provides New Vehicle

February 13, 2020 | Newsletter

It takes many moving parts to acquire, handle, distribute, and ultimately deliver 1.5 million pounds of food across 30,000 square miles. Yet that’s what Food Bank of Iowa does every month! We are fortunate to have a safe and efficient facility. We are grateful for a committed team of donors, volunteers, and staff. In addition to a functional facility and devoted people, it takes vehicles.

“When I joined the Food Bank of Iowa team four years ago, my trucking knowledge was limited, but I knew enough to realize our fleet, which was the cornerstone of our operation, needed attention,” said Michelle Book, president & CEO of Food Bank of Iowa. “I went to Dan Van Alstine, president of Ruan Transportation for help.”

In addition to providing safety training to distribution center workers and drivers and evaluating our truck routes for efficiency, our friends at Ruan Transportation also assessed the condition of the fleet. “The news was not unexpected. Replace four of the six trucks within two years,” said Book.

In 2019, having completed a building renovation which provided a watertight roof over our food and desks and a functional distribution center, it was time to turn our attention to the fleet. With Ruan’s expertise and their equipment purchasing network, coupled with invaluable negotiation assistance from Ruan Transportation and the financial support of several committed donors, Food Bank of Iowa took delivery of one fully funded truck this January.

Food Bank of Iowa received a $150,000 grant from Tyson Foods to put toward a transportation and equipment package which included the purchase of our first new truck along with equipment for the distribution center.

“We’re proud to support Food Bank of Iowa and its mission to fight hunger,” said Debra Vernon, senior director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Tyson Foods. “Equipping our partners with the right resources to address food insecurity by providing more effective transportation and supporting mobile pantry programs is a critical part of our hunger relief strategy.”

The modernized fleet will offer improved fuel economy, and importantly, each new truck will be equipped with the latest safety technologies to provide a safe unit for our drivers to operate.

“We are extremely grateful for our wonderful partnerships with Ruan Transportation and Tyson Foods,” said Book. “With their assistance, we are in a significantly better position to deliver on our mission of providing food for Iowa’s children, families, and seniors to lead full and active lives, strengthening the communities where they live.”

Food Bank of Iowa trucks and drivers, vans and volunteers are on the road five days a week picking up donated and rescued food and delivering much needed nutrition to 175,000 struggling Iowans via 625 trusted, passionate partner agencies – pantries, schools, homeless shelters, daycares, and more. Food Bank of Iowa runs 83 routes each month, with our friendly and helpful drivers completing over 3,600 deliveries in 2019.

Our fleet of trucks and vans is now safer and more effective than ever before. However, even with optimal efficiency, it still takes dollars to fill diesel tanks and change oil filters. We rely on donor support to “fuel” our efforts to get milk, eggs, and produce to food insecure Iowans. Ending hunger in Iowa is possible due to your generous support.

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