The Ed & Dollie Lynch Fund donated $130,000 and Vancouver Rotary Foundation donated $5,000 to Clark County Food Bank. The combined $135,000 will be used to purchase a new extra-large refrigerated box truck with a required liftgate.
In addition to funding a new truck, the Ed & Dollie Lynch Fund also donated $40,000, so Clark County Food Bank could purchase necessary equipment to immediately increase food recovery and distribution efforts. The equipment funded includes a pallet jack, hand trucks, cardboard baler, cardboard baler installation, and the fee for renting a refrigerated box truck for three months while the new truck is being built.
“Supplying more food to more people requires more infrastructure,” says Glen Jones, Food & Warehouse Manager at Clark County Food Bank, “and that’s why this funding for a new truck and more equipment is so vital to our mission and organization.”
Every morning, a small fleet of trucks driven by volunteers pulls out of the food bank parking lot and visits 27 grocery stores around Clark County. The trucks pick up recovered food from grocery stores and transport it back to the Clark County Food Bank’s warehouse where it is sorted, boxed, and distributed to people in need.
The grocery store recovery program, called Fresh Alliance, is part of a zero-waste initiative among local grocery stores, and it is supplying nearly 2 million pounds of food annually to people in need throughout our community.
Fresh Alliance began six years ago at Clark County Food Bank with one truck picking up food from three grocery stores. Today, that program has expanded to four trucks traveling to nearly 30 grocery stores and picking up 5,000–10,000 pounds of food every day.
The daily truck routes include seven Walmarts, six Fred Meyers, five Safeways, three Targets, two Natural Grocers, one QFC, and one Albertsons – all stores throughout Clark County. The funding for the new truck and additional equipment will allow Clark County Food Bank to begin collecting food at both Costco Warehouse locations, effective immediately.
“We’re finding food without a home and giving it to homes without food,” says Alan Hamilton, Executive Director at Clark County Food Bank. “Ten years ago, all of this food would have been thrown into the dumpster at grocery stores. Today, we’re picking it up getting it to people in our community who need it most.”
This past year, more than 110,000 people in Clark County requested food assistance from Clark County Food Bank’s network of 40+ food pantries and food distribution sites. In 2017, Clark County Food Bank distributed 6.68 million pounds of food to people in need throughout Clark County.