Publix donates new refrigerated truck to Montgomery Area Food Bank

Updated: Feb. 23, 2017 at 11:09 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery Area Food Bank got a huge boost in their ability to get food to people across the state Thursday thanks to a generous donation.

Publix Super Markets donated a brand new refrigerated food truck to the MAFB. The gift was valued at $150,000!

MAFB name says "Montgomery area", but it supports residents way beyond Alabama's capital city, covering more than half of Alabama's 67 counties.

The truck will help make sure many residents get healthy foods like fruits and vegetables that need refrigerating during shipment.

"If we didn't have these refrigerated trucks, it would hinder our mission and ultimately it would affect the people," admitted food bank CEO Richard Deems.

"This will enable this effective organization to be more effective to touch those that's in a greater need in the local community," said Publix Media and Community Relations Manager Dwaine Stevens.

The trucks come out of a donation made by Publix to "Feeding America".

Here's the message of thanks MAFB shared on its Facebook page:

Delivering assistance to food insecure families throughout Montgomery Area Food Bank's (MAFB) 24,921 square mile service area requires the use of heavy duty commercial trucks. It's a relatively straight-forward equation – more trucks equal more capacity. However, to continue to deliver increasing amounts of nutritious, fresh food and have any hope of expanding that capability, MAFB requires heavy duty commercial refrigerated trucks. Today, Publix Super Markets Charities, strengthened that equation when representatives of Publix Super Markets from throughout the River Region delivered the keys to a brand new $150,000, 26' refrigerated truck.

"We simply cannot thank the folks at Publix enough," said the food bank's CEO Richard A. Deem. "Our refrigerated truck capacity dictates how much fresh, nutrient-dense food we can accept, and in turn distribute. This donation strengthens our entire process, and has a direct, positive impact on the health of many low-income, at-risk Alabama families."

MAFB's good fortune is a part of an amazingly generous $5 million donation by Publix Super Markets Charities to members of the Feeding America® network. River Region Publix Super Markets also conduct successful annual outreach "Food for All" and "Food for Sharing" food & fund drives, as well as participating in a program where the new refrigerated truck will be essential.
"We're very happy to be able to help Montgomery Area Food Bank," said Ken Wilson, Publix Super Markets, District Manager. "All of our stores partner with Feeding America Food Banks and through the Publix Perishable Recovery Program, we're able to provide perfectly good food, which would often otherwise go to waste. Increasing their refrigerated truck capacity means less of our neighbors go hungry."

Having that increased capacity as well as retail food suppliers like Publix Super Markets willing to fill those trucks several times over, not only makes MAFB more capable of fighting hunger, but gives the food bank an ability to impact the health of the Alabama demographic group most susceptible to diet-related, chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cardiac disease. "We have an Education, Nutrition and Diet program, which has been integrated into our Mobile Pantry program," explained Deem. "A single Mobile Pantry delivery provides between five to 7 tons of assistance to between 200-250 families with verified need, at one place and at one time.

"At the same time, we also provide nutritional education materials. Now, we've all read about good nutrition, and on its own it can be a challenging subject to talk about to folks who are staving off hunger with cheap, high calorie food. But, when we're able to deliver fresh produce or fresh meats at the same time, we suddenly realize a more effective teaching moment. People are thrilled. They talk about and share recipes they haven't used for a while. It's no longer nutrition education. It becomes a moment of community and sharing…all because we have the support of our community and a refrigerated truck!"

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.