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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The ongoing campaign of Second Harvest Gleaners Food Bank to replace its aging fleet of trucks got a significant boost from Meijer Inc., which donated four of its vehicles to the organization earlier this month.
The two 2001 Sterling tandem-axle day cabs and two Great Dane dry trailers will be used to transport food throughout Gleaners' 40-county service area in West Michigan, according to the organization's executive director John Arnold.
"This is a perfect example of the right gift at the right time," said Arnold. "We just completed another record year of food distribution in 2006 - 19.3 million pounds to 1,200 charitable agencies - and we need dependable trucks now more than ever."
Arnold said Gleaners' fleet is its lifeblood, enabling the organization to carry out its mission of routing donated food industry surpluses and useable discards to West Michigan agencies that feed hungry people in a 30,000-square-mile region. Because of this, in 2006 the food bank made it a priority to find donors of trucks and financial contributions to help it replace its fleet of 18 vehicles in various stages of wear and tear.
"Partnership with community organizations is at the foundation of our company," said Meijer spokeswoman Stacie Behler. "Gleaners provides such critical assistance to those many people in our neighborhoods, we were glad to be able to play a small role in getting food to those most in need."