America’s Second Harvest (ASH), a charitable hunger-relief organization, has dispatched 626 truckloads of food weighing a total of 20.7 million lbs. to over 200 emergency shelters housing evacuees displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
“The food was donated by retailers, wholesalers, growers and manufacturers,” Maura Daly, ASH communications manager told FleetOwner. “With 209 food banks in our organization nationwide, when a disaster strikes, our network can very quickly mobilize and distribute food. Some of the truckloads of food are coming from our members’ food banks. Where there’s a surplus of a product in demand, our members have been generous in providing not only the food, but in some cases the transportation.
“Sometimes the donor company will donate the food and truck and the driver,” Daly continued. “In some cases, they donate just the product, and we have a number of companies that donate the trucks with drivers— either a trucking company or an independent driving their own vehicle to whatever location they need to go to.”
The relief boxes go to over 200 emergency shelters in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and the surrounding states where hundreds of thousands of evacuees are moving.
Meanwhile, the Food Marketing Institute, the nation’s largest trade organization representing food retailers and wholesalers, is organizing a network of its members’ existing warehouses for the relief effort.
“We’re coordinating with local agencies to deal with truckloads of products so they’ll be providing warehouse support,” Bill Greer, FMI spokesperson told FleetOwner “They’ll be in a position to take in large quantities of products from across the nation.
“Our members control the warehouses and we’re in a position to coordinate with our members to determine whether these warehouses are able to take truckloads of supplies, as well as give logistical support,” Greer said. “We’re identifying the assets we have to make available to the relief effort—this includes the warehouses, the trucks. We’re coordinating with manufacturers as well.”
Six warehouses have been allocated to this effort, Greer said.
According to an FMI news release, U.S. food retailers and wholesalers have donated over $27 million of financial support, as well as $13 million in aid. Wal-Mart donated $17 million in cash, as well as set up mobile “Mini Wal-Mart Stores” to provide personal items free of charge in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
According to the American Trucking Assns., several of its members have allocated its equipment to donate to the relief effort:
- Hammer Express Inc. will send two truckloads out of Chicago to Baton Rouge, LA and Ocean Springs, MS
- A. Duie Pyle provided a trailer and driver to transport good collected by a local church
- Big G Express provided three truckloads of relief supplies to Mississippi from Tennessee
- Boyle Transportation paid $3,000 for water and delivered it to a FEMA warehouse in Jackson, MS. The company also donated a trailer in Virginia to store donated goods.
- Daley & Wanzer Inc. donated a trailer and driver to transport generators, food, water and clothing from Massachusetts to New Orleans
- Tyson Foods Inc. shipped 25 truckloads of ice, water, beef, pork and chicken as of Sept. 8
To donate or offer transportation services, call ASH at 800-771-2303 and ask for the logistics department.
For more information on how trucking companies are contributing to the relief effort, go to www.truckline.com/katrina/donations.
To discuss the Katrina disaster and its effect on the trucking industry or share your experiences, please visit FleetOwner's Katrina Blog at blog.fleetowner.com/katrina.
To view the archive of FleetOwner’s ongoing Katrina news coverage, go to www.fleetowner.com/katrina.