March 28, 2013 in Washington Voices

Charity to deliver food to needy with new, larger set of wheels

By The Spokesman-Review

Employees from the five Wal-Mart stores in Spokane County pose for a photo with Second Harvest’s new semitrailer during a West Central Community Center event on March 25.
(Full-size photo)

Second Harvest Food Bank showed off its new semitrailer on Monday at a mobile food distribution event at West Central Community Center. The 2014 Peterbilt tractor was purchased with the help of a $110,000 grant from Wal-Mart’s Washington State Giving Program.

“We have a small fleet of trucks of varying age and with varying mileage on them,” said Melissa Cloninger, Second Harvest director of community and corporate relations. “This tractor comes in very handy. It will help us get deliveries to the 250 agencies we serve.”

Second Harvest covers Eastern Washington and North Idaho, a total of 51,000 square miles, Cloninger said.

The new vehicle will help increase Second Harvest’s distribution of food to 28 million pounds every year, by 2016.

Cloninger said that often fresh produce and fruit is donated but the transportation is not.

“It’s very important to us that we can come and get the donated food as quickly as possible, and sort it and repack it to get it out to our clients,” Cloninger said.

The Wal-Mart Foundation gave more than $15 million to nonprofits in Washington in 2011.

“It’s a very generous foundation, said Cloninger. “We have a great partnership with Wal-Mart because their associates also volunteer and we receive fresh produce and other grocery items that they pull from their stores.”

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