SPOKANE - You might think food is the solution to solving our nation’s hunger. But the real challenge is not finding the food, it’s getting that food to the people who need it.
That’s where “The Harvester” comes in. It’s the newest tractor in Second Harvest’s fleet: a 2014 Peterbilt tractor that will pull trailers of food across 26 counties.
Walmart’s Washington State Giving Foundation donated the $110,000 to purchase the tractor. Many organizations apply for grants from Walmart, but the committee decided Second Harvest deserves it the most, making each dollar go the extra mile.
“Transportation and refrigeration are just a key piece in food distribution and that’s why we thought these dollars were best spent this way,” Walmart’s Eastern Washington market manager Kyle Windorn said.
“The Harvester” will see a lot of miles: in 2012, Second Harvest distributed nearly 21 million pounds of food across a 50,000 square-mile area. This year, “The Harvester” and the rest of the fleet are on track to deliver roughly 23 million pounds of food to 250 partners across 21 Washington counties and five counties in Northern Idaho.
“Our small fleet of trucks is critical to the work that we do,” Second Harvest corporate and community relations director Melissa Cloninger said. “Clearly, 97 or 98 percent of the food that we distribute is donated, oftentimes, the transportation is not.”
Following Monday morning’s official unveiling, Second Harvest will put “The Harvester” to work dropping off a big delivery to hundreds of clients in need.