The 100 Mile House Food Bank is the recipient of a brand new reefer (refrigerated) cargo van.
The acquisition comes after a $78,000 grant from Food Banks BC, according to 100 Mile House Food Bank executive director Bob Hicks.
It’s great because they needed a new unit, says Hicks.
“We’ll have a reefer on it. We can pick up more perishables. We’ll go further. It’s gonna be a big boost for the food bank, especially having the reefer on it.”
The truck will also be a lot cheaper to run, says Hicks.
He said that the old truck was a godsend ever since Central donated it and that they will continue to use it.
Across B.C. about 100 food banks are part of Food Banks BC, according to Laura Lansink, executive director for Food Banks BC.
“One of the issues that we saw was that our food banks simply didn’t have the capacity to receive perishable foods. So that might be milk and dairy products or it might be frozen food, meat anything like that, which of course are very desirable products at a food bank; the type of products food banks like to give out. At the same time, we also saw that in B.C. about four billion dollars worth of fresh perishable food is wasted every single year. That just doesn’t make sense.”
They wanted to make sure that food banks had the capacity to receive some of that surplus food, says Lansink.
“We approached the provincial government, at that time, and we built our case and requested $10 million dollars which we received from the provincial government. With those funds, we have been able to build the capacity throughout the province of our food banks which has now resulted in instead of those viable nutritious foods going into a landfill or being plowed back into a farmers field, our food banks are now able to receive them. It is a win win win because people now have fresh delicious foods, we’re not having food wasted in the landfill. So each of our food banks looked at their operations and decided ‘how can we start to accommodate more of these foods?’ And 100 Mile House did that and we were delighted to be able to give them, with these funds, their van.”
100 Mile House Food Bank office manager Jennifer Tanner says it’s a very welcome addition.
“I’m very excited about this new truck,” says Tanner. “We can talk to other local stores if they do not already have a program in place then we can arrange an agreement with them if they are interested in doing so. Then we’d be able to, just for an example, go to the 108 Supermarket in our reefer truck and safely pick up the produce and bring it back here.”