Home Blog April 2016 Keeping food moving with the Transportation Fund

Keeping food moving with the Transportation Fund

Keeping food moving with the Transportation Fund
Think of a food bank and what do you picture? Probably a warehouse-type building. But food banks also need wheels — and some pretty big ones at that!

When large-scale food donations are made available, they must be collected, transported to a sorting hub, and distributed to other food banks, depots and agencies. Without large trucks, it’s often just not possible to get this food where it’s needed most.

Happily, two organizations in the food banking network purchased 3-ton trucks last fall with the help of our Transportation Fund.
Congratulations, grant recipients!
Edmonton’s Food Bank in Edmonton, Alberta, along with Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank in Nanaimo, BC, were selected as the two grant recipients who each received $25,000 towards the purchase of a new truck under the Capacity Building Program – Transportation Fund sponsored by Loblaw Companies Ltd.  

The goal of the grant is to help food banks that are matched with Loblaw stores in the Retail Food Program to purchase or retrofit a new or used vehicle so that they can increase their capacity by transporting more food to more people.

Moving food to where it’s needed   
“About 80% of our food donations come from the food industry, and many donors have loading docks that accommodate only 3- or 5-ton trucks,” explains Tamisan Bencz-Knight, Manager of Strategic Relationships & Partnerships, Edmonton’s Food Bank.
two workers loading goods into a truck

“Our old 1-ton truck is too small for the loading bays, and it’s also starting to cost more to 
maintain. If it goes kaput, it will affect thousands of people. Having a 3-ton truck means we can load and unload faster, without requiring a team of volunteers and a fleet of smaller vehicles.”

Alex Counsell, Operations Manager, Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank, points out that Nanaimo, like Edmonton, is very spread out. “We have a number of depots that serve clients directly, to help them save on transit time and cost. The larger truck will help ensure we can make timely deliveries to all of our depots.”

He is delighted at the prospect of finally having a refrigerated unit. “Right now, we’ve been using ice packs for milk and other perishables,” explains Alex. “The new refrigerated truck will make it easier to collect and transport more fresh foods — and it will keep them fresh longer, so we can get them to more people.”

This post has been updated from August 2015

Thank you to Loblaw Companies Ltd. for sponsoring theTransportation Fund

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of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)