Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Symantec Funds Cost-Saving Hybrid Produce Mobile - The First of its Kind in the National Food Bank Network

In the spring of 2009, the Food Bank was seeking to purchase an additional vehicle to meet the rising requests for fresh fruits and vegetables from our clients and partner agencies. Referred to as a Produce Mobile, this refrigerated tractor trailer operates like a farmer's market on wheels by bringing much needed produce to low-income communities.

We turned to Symantec, one of our large corporate champions, for help with the purchase of this high-cost capital item. Because of Symantec’s commitment to the environment, they encouraged the Food Bank to look into the possibility of purchasing a hybrid tractor trailer.

Thanks to Symantec’s guidance, the Food Bank did just that. While the cost of a refrigerated hybrid tractor trailer is much higher than a conventional one, the savings in fuel alone are expected to be close to 30% compared to conventional vehicles. All of those cash savings will be put back into the community in the form of food and programs that feed hungry people.

“For many years, Symantec has supported Second Harvest’s mission of feeding Silicon Valley’s hungry and our sponsorship of the hybrid Produce Mobile will ensure fresh produce is delivered to those in need,” said John W. Thomson, Chairman of the Board, Symantec. “I applaud Second Harvest for reinvesting the cash savings from the hybrid vehicle into additional food and programs to serve the community.”

The hybrid tractor trailer is not only transformational to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, but the first for the national Food Bank network as well.

“Feeding America is actively working to build a sustainability program for all of our 205 member food banks,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. “This hybrid tractor is a huge step forward. As we work to end hunger in our country, doing it in an environmentally sustainable manner is at the forefront of our minds.”

Second Harvest’s new Hybrid Produce Mobile is a 32’ tractor trailer with 10 refrigerated bays. It can hold 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of fresh produce at a temperature as low as 30 degrees. This new vehicle will allow the Food Bank to open 14 additional distribution sites this fiscal year resulting in an average of 20,902 individuals served each month through this program.

“We are very excited that Symantec had the foresight and commitment to step up and make this first of its kind investment,” said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “We hope this serves as a lightning rod moment for other individual and corporate supporters.”

Stay tuned for more announcements on ways the Food Bank is going green! Energy savings means more of our precious donated money can be used to close the Hunger Gap