No Such Thing as a Snow Day for a Second Harvest Heartland Driver
Those of us who live in the Twin Cities, especially the south Metro and southern Minnesota, may remember our biggest snow storm of the winter so far. Schools closed hours before the snow even hit the ground. Many people chose to work remotely if they were able to, and for the unfortunate souls who made the commute, it was probably a white-knuckle drive home.
Second Harvest Heartland’s fleet of semi-truck drivers take “rain or shine” (or “snow or shine?”) to the next level. Our transportation team collects and distributes food to food shelves, food pantries and other meal programs all over our 59-county service area.
“Throughout the day, the drivers know they have the ability to call their own shots to say they can’t go any further. But we don’t shut down. There are days we take a deep breath, but we make sure we let them make those calls,” said Paul Jacobs, our Director of Transportation.
“We all have our days when we’d rather stay at home. But if I don’t come in to work, hundreds of families could get turned away for a meal at their neighborhood church. This is what gets me out of bed every day.” –Steve, one of our Retail Food Rescue Drivers
Below is a screenshot from our fleet tracking software of the transportation fleet on Jan. 22, on a morning where the headlines read “If you don’t have to go into work today, you may want to stay home.” We are proud to report not a single driver on our fleet missed a single stop all day!
The above example is just one day. Our fleet is flexible and patient all winter (and all year) long. Even when there isn’t a heavy snowstorm, cold temperatures are hard on diesel trucks. Since drivers start at five in the morning, daylight won’t come for hours to help warm up the trucks.
Second Harvest Heartland’s transportation team does everything it can to be proactive. That’s why, for many winter mornings when it’s supposed to be particularly cold, we hire an on-call mechanic to help start any trucks that don’t make it on the first try. Paul said one day, the mechanic helped us start five or six trucks on a single morning. If we hadn’t had help on stand-by, those trucks wouldn’t have made their routes, which affects hundreds, if not thousands of people every day.
“We have very dedicated drivers,” Paul said. “They work with the mission in mind. We’re proud of them!”
When you support Second Harvest Heartland, you are going the extra mile—just like our drivers. Your gift helps our transportation team get the food we distribute to hungry individuals and families, snow or shine!