The River Valley Regional Food Bank has been awarded a $120,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program. The funds will be used to purchase a replacement Retail Recovery Refrigerated Truck to recover grocery store products no longer considered retail salable.
The truck will be similar in configuration to the Rural Delivery Truck provided by the Walmart Foundation to the food bank last year. The unit will replace the 2009 model currently being used. The unit has logged over 120,000 miles. Ironically, this retiring unit was donated by Walmart and Sam’s Club to the food bank as part of a pilot program that launched food bank retail recovery across the nation.
“Truck repairs not only take money away from food, but take away valuable time in bringing fresh products back to the food bank,” said Ted Clemons, director River Valley Regional Food Bank. “We are once again grateful to Walmart and Sam’s Club for recognizing the importance of logistics in what we do.”
The River Valley Regional Food Bank works in eight counties in west and central Arkansas through a network of just under 190 member agencies. In an area slightly larger than the state of Connecticut, where more than 300,000 live, there are more than 53,000 classified as food insecure and the food insecure include 25,000 children.
For 29 years, the food bank strives to alleviate hunger by sourcing food and related product donations and distributing that food through a network of 189 member agencies. Annually, the food bank provides 8 million pounds of food, valued at $13.6 million, to families with children, the elderly and the disabled, homeless, veterans in need and long term unemployed adults.
The food bank hopes to have a new vehicle in operation by September, which is Hunger Action Month.