What does a Ford have to do with the Capital Area Food Bank and our mission to feed the hungry?
I’ll tell you. It is a hot and sweaty summer day in DC and you are staying as close to your fan as possible and I am staying cool inside my office at the Capital Area Food Bank. As I am finishing some paperwork and getting ready to head to a meeting, my phone rings. It turns out that there is an issue with the food at one of the sites. There are five seniors who didn’t receive bags and they really need this food as the end of the month nears.
These seniors live by themselves and receive bags through a program called the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a program that provides them with groceries to help make ends meet on a monthly basis. I hear about the five specific seniors who are really worried about their next meal.
The food bank is the largest non-profit food distribution center in the Washington metro area. This means that through our hundreds of partners, we distributed 45 million pounds of food (37.5 million meals) last year. That amazing number happens through the dedicated teams working at the food bank and includes the truck drivers who provide food assistance to our neighbors by delivering truckloads of food to sites across the region we serve – Washington, DC; Northern Virginia and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland. However, with all the food we distribute, sometimes we miss a beat, or sometimes we miscount the number of bags. This means that we have to figure out how to make a special delivery on this hot July day.
That’s where Ford enters the picture. Today, I don’t have to worry about whether or not the boxes will fit in my car, because I am able to get to the site easily and quickly with ample space in a Ford Explorer 2013 Sport. This car was generously loaned to us by Ford for a week to help accomplish our mission. The car has a spacious trunk and is easy to drive. I hop in the Explorer and use the built-in GPS device to get me to my destination. I finally arrive and am greeted at the door by the site leader. The bags are easily unloaded out of the trunk and she thanks me for coming out. Every bag matters and especially during these hot months. Thank you, Ford.