LOUISVILLE – Dare to Care Food Bank is receiving a new refrigerated truck filled with food as part of an unique, 11-year ”Partnership for Hunger Relief” with Ford Motor Company, Newman’s Own, Inc. and Feeding America.
The partnership began when the late Paul Newman wrote Bill Ford, Jr., then the CEO of Ford Motor Company, to suggest a new initiative focused on providing fresh produce and other perishables to individuals facing hunger in rural America. They put this idea into action by donating refrigerated Ford trucks filled with an assortment of Newman’s Own products to Feeding America.
As the partnership celebrates its 11th anniversary, another five Ford trucks are being donated, including one to Dare to Care Food Bank. The new refrigerated truck will be used to deliver food throughout Kentuckiana to people who are at risk of hunger.
“In tough economic times, it is more important than ever to help families in need and make sure no one is wanting or gets left behind,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Ford and Newman’s Own, two great national companies, are providing a huge boost of compassion to our community, and making Louisville a better place.”
A total of 103 vehicles in all 50 states have been donated since the partnership began in 2000. The donated trucks have traveled a combined total of more than 6.7 million miles and distributed over 169 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 176 million meals to hard to reach areas.
As part of the Feeding America network, Dare to Care Food Bank has responded to the growing need from families, by increasing its delivery of meals by about eight percent year-over year to 12 million meals – the most in its 42 year history.
Brian Riendeau, Dare to Care Executive Director, said Ford’s most recent gift is timely for Kentuckiana families. “We are in a period of unprecedented need for food assistance in our community. This investment by Ford in our capacity to serve Kentuckiana continues the tradition of community generosity that created Dare to Care over 40 years ago.”
"Ford Motor Company has remained committed to playing a role in addressing hunger relief year after year,” said John Savona, plant manager, Ford Louisville Assembly Plant. “We are delighted that the truck donated to Dare To Care Food Bank was produced right here in Louisville at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant.”
The refrigerated trucks allow for delivery of fresh and nutritious food to hard to reach neighborhoods that are often underserved. Donated produce, meat and dairy products cannot be delivered to remote areas unless refrigerated trucks are available for long delivery routes.
"More than 12 years ago Paul Newman realized there was a great need to get nutritious food more broadly distributed. With 49 million people facing hunger, we are glad this program continues to help make a difference, especially in the current economic environment,” said Tom Indoe, president and chief operating officer of Newman’s Own, Inc.
Other food banks receiving trucks this year are: Atlanta Community Food Bank (Atlanta, GA), Harry Chapin Food Bank of South Florida (Fort Myers, FL), Josephine County Food Bank (Grants Pass, OR), and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (Raleigh, NC).
Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, with more than 200 member food banks providing food to more than 37 million people in rural, urban and suburban communities.