42,000 pounds of dedication
Steve Youngblood - Food Sourcing Representative
There are good Samaritans working behind the scenes all the time, and I was witness to some great members of our community this week.
I’m based out of Eau Claire, WI, near our redistribution partner food bank, Feed My People.*
We received a call that a 53 ft trailer had rolled with a load of potatoes. The driver was okay and the potatoes were in good condition, but had been significantly “reorganized” inside the trailer. The costs would be too great for the owner to recover, so would the food bank be interested in getting them? You bet! But it was going to be 42,000 lbs of hard, physical labor and we didn’t have people or equipment in place for an immediate task such as this…
I had never met or spoken to any of the people I was about to call and had no idea what type of responses I’d get. When the truck driver training group from Chippewa Valley Technical College heard about the dilemma Wednesday evening, Duane Severson said, “Just tell us when to have a semi-trailer there and we’ll be there!” When Feed My People volunteers John Mason and David Tillotson heard about the situation Wednesday evening, they each said “just tell me when to be there!” When the people at I-94 Towing and Recovery heard that these potatoes could still be used to feed the hungry, Ben and Kerry said “we’ll be there to help!” After the sun rose, all of these fantastic volunteers met in Osseo, WI in the 10 degree weather and started lifting and moving.
Less than 24 hours after the initial phone call, the student drivers and Lowell, their instructor, were transporting 42,000 pounds of potatoes to Feed My People. Feed My People and Second Harvest Heartland are now getting these potatoes to people who need help this holiday season.
Sometimes you wonder what makes the world go ‘round, and sometimes you know.
*Feed My People Food Bank is an independent, nondenominational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and serves as a partner redistribution outlet (RDO) for Second Harvest Heartland. Feed My People is the only food bank based in west central Wisconsin and distributes food to more than 82 agencies in 14 Wisconsin counties.
In addition to distributing food, Feed My People provides services and technical assistance to agencies that operate food pantries or programs so that they operate optimally. You can learn more about Feed My People at www.fmpfoodbank.org.