Trucks at Work

Good works delivered by van

It’s no secret that trucks of all shapes and sizes are invariably viewed as a negative by our society: they create traffic congestion, they damage highway infrastructure, generate all sorts of air pollution … you get the idea.

By extension, then, it’s a rarity when trucks are appreciated for the critical role they play in keeping the global economy humming, how they provide life-saving services from fire & rescue and ambulance transport to disaster relief, or how they help provide any number of charitable services to the needy.

Take for example the recent donation by Ford Motor Co. of a Transit van (seen at right) equipped with a sink, refrigerator, food preparation space, and cabinets for providing meals to Washington, D.C.’s homeless as part of what’s known as the “Grate Patrol program” operated by The Salvation Army.

The program – which gets it names from the large heating vents on city streets where homeless people congregate to stay warm overnight in cold weather – operates every night all year long and delivers an average of 150 nutritious meals, snacks and hydration per day to men and women at multiple locations throughout downtown D.C.

And wouldn’t you know: a truck, in this case a van, makes it all possible.

The Salvation Army said it’s distributed more than 1.3 million meals to the homeless and others in need of something to eat since it began the “Grate Patrol” more than three decades ago.

The group recently retired its previous “mobile kitchen” after 10 years of hard service; now replaced by a high-roof, extended-wheelbase Ford Transit 350 HD powered by a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine.

“The Salvation Army is grateful to Ford for its generous donation to our ‘Grate Patrol’ van campaign,” noted Major Lewis Reckline, area commander for The Salvation Army, in a statement. “Ford’s gift – along with contributions from several other community members – will help us to continue serving the homeless for years to come.”

Good works delivered by van. Gotta love it.

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