URBANA — Hauling food for hungry people in 14 counties meant a lot of ground to cover for three trucks.
Now, thanks to a $140,000 donation, the Eastern Illinois Foodbank has a fourth truck — and it's even larger and more high-tech than the other three, foodbank officials said.
The donation came from the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program, and the temperature-controlled truck purchased with the money was unveiled Friday.
The local foodbank in Urbana delivers food to more than 220 agencies and programs, most of them food pantries, spread out across 8,000 square miles, according to Cheryl Precious, its marketing director.
And, she said, "the majority of programs that participate with us are getting deliveries."
For larger deliveries, the foodbank had to send two trucks, but the new, larger truck adds "at least two pallets of capacity for us," she said.
That's going to save on gas and employee time, Precious said. And unlike the other three trucks in the foodbank's fleet, which have one compartment that runs on cold or normal, the new one has three temperature-controlled compartments that will allow different settings for cold, frozen and dry foods.
The new truck also adds capacity for picking up donated food products from the foodbank's retail partners, which include Walmart, foodbank officials said.
The foodbank applied to Walmart's foundation for the truck donation, and its request was fully funded, Precious said.
The Walmart Foundation's State Giving Program has also donated $200,000 to Feeding Illinois, which will be used to distribute more fresh food throughout Illinois, according to an announcement from the retailer and Eastern Illinois Foodbank.