Santa updates Michigan food charity’s fleet

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The fleet at Second Harvest of Oak Park, Mich., a food charity, welcomed a needed gift this week: a new 2016 Freightliner refrigerated class six truck.The fleet at Second Harvest of Oak Park, Mich., a food charity, welcomed a needed gift this week: a new 2016 Freightliner refrigerated class six truck.

A food charity’s fleet in Oak Park, Mich. got a visit from Santa this week thanks to help from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and the State of Michigan.

Santa delivered a new 2016 Freightliner refrigerated truck to Forgotten Harvest, which is one of two trucks the charity has been given.

Mercedes’ donation plus a clean diesel grant from the State of Michigan made it possible for Forgotten Harvest to scratch the trucks off its wish list.

“Just like Santa could not deliver gifts without his trusty sleigh, Forgotten Harvest cannot realize its mission of delivering fresh food to the hungry in our local community without a reliable fleet,” says Chris Trainor, senior manager of controlling at Mercedes-Benz financial services and a longtime Forgotten Harvest volunteer.

“Mercedes-Benz Financial Services was honored to work with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and its local partner, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, to check this gift off Forgotten Harvest’s wish list during this holiday season.”

The new trucks for Forgotten Harvest’s fleet will replace trucks operating primarily in Detroit and in western Wayne County. The diesel engines on the new trucks will meet or exceed the current highest EPA emissions standards.

Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes says Forgotten Harvest is grateful for their new trucks.

“Our wish this year was to be able to replace two of our older refrigerated box trucks with clean-burning diesel trucks that would reduce air pollution, while helping us rescue more food,” says Mayes.

“Thanks to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ long-standing commitment, combined with the MDEQ and SDEV partnership, the holidays will be so much brighter for many families in Southeast Michigan who might otherwise not have enough to eat.”

As part of a collaboration to help address air pollution from diesel engines, the State of Michigan MDEQ awarded a Clean Diesel grant to SDEV’s Clean Diesel Program earlier this year for the purpose of improving air quality by reducing diesel emissions. This grant partially funded improvements to replace two older refrigerated box trucks in Forgotten Harvest’s fleet.

MDEQ’s financial support required at least a 75 percent funding match, leading to a broader collaboration to meet the program’s clean air goals. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services provided the matching funds to replace one of Forgotten Harvest’s refrigerated box trucks.

This is the sixth vehicle since 2007 that Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has sponsored for Forgotten Harvest in support of its mission to rescue fresh food to feed the hungry.