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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 12:04 pm | Mostly Cloudy 65º


Foodbank Seeks $145,000 to Replace Refrigerated Truck Lost in Accident

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is asking the community to help replace equipment damaged in an accident on Oct. 15, that resulted in total losses of a refrigerated food transport truck, and the electric pallet jack and food that was on board.

Estimated cost to replace lost equipment and food is $145,000. To continue normal operations, the Foodbank also will have to lease a truck for three months until a replacement arrives.

An anonymous donor has pledged a $50,000 matching gift that requires the Foodbank to raise an additional $50,000 in individual donations. Several donors have already pledged $4,000 toward replacements costs.

Aera Energy, LLC, has offered to fund a full-service lease payment for November, December and January while the new truck is procured. Aera Energy team members will give Foodbank a check for $8,658 to cover rental truck costs on Nov. 15 at the Santa Maria warehouse, 490 West Foster Road.

“We so grateful for the support that has already come from our friends at Aera Energy, individuals and our generous anonymous donor with the matching gift,” said Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin.

“In the thick of the holiday season, we see hunger increase as local food production and tourism slow down and many working people in our county face reduced work hours and wages,” Talkin said.

“Losing a truck as useful as Old Reliable at this time poses a real impediment to meeting the needs of those facing hunger in our community through our programs and our 300 non-profit partners,” said Paul Wilkins, Foodbank director of operations. “Logistics have been impaired since the accident.”

To contribute, the public can donate online or by sending a check made out to Foodbank of Santa Barbara County to 4554 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara, 93110, or 490 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria, 93455. Credit card payments may be taken by phone, 805-937-3422 ext. 106.

The Foodbank hopes to buy a 2018 Hino 268A Refrigerated Box Truck, outfitted with a liftgate that will allow pickups from smaller growers, support easier and a greater variety of collection by the Backyard Bounty Program, and enable distributions to smaller agencies that lack a loading dock.

Refrigeration reduces food waste by slowing spoilage and keeping fresh produce safe and flavorful for a longer time.

The new truck also will have emission technology compliant with Title 13 Truck and Bus Rule and will advance the Foodbank’s commitment to a healthy food ecosystem in Santa Barbara County.

In fiscal year 2018, the Foodbank distributed 10 million pounds of food, including 4 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, to more than 173,000 unduplicated clients throughout Santa Barbara County.

For more information, visit www.foodbanksbc.org.

— Judith Smith-Meyer for Foodbank.


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