Spartanburg, SC - - July 22, 2021 - - Ruth’s Gleanings, who empowers people in nutritional poverty by increasing access to healthy, fresh food, has unveiled a new refrigerated box truck to serve all of Spartanburg County. As part of Ruth’s Gleanings 5th year anniversary celebration, the organization recently debuted the 17-foot refrigerated box truck capable of hauling 500 FoodShare boxes. Coupled with the existing 12-foot FoodShare refrigerated trailer that can haul 250 boxes at a time, Ruth’s Gleanings can now distribute 750 boxes to more partner sites throughout the county with multiple vehicles in operation. With the hydraulic lift capability of the larger, refrigerated box truck, full pallets of food boxes can be loaded and unloaded efficiently at the dock level to save time and streamline operations. The refrigerated trailer will now be powered by a newly acquired 4x4 truck funded by Women Giving for Spartanburg, PAL Spartanburg and individual donors. As a result, more people in rural areas of Spartanburg will gain access to healthy fresh fruit and vegetables through the FoodShare partner sites.
"PAL is so excited to be able to support Ruth's Gleanings in strengthening our local food infrastructure with the purchase of this which will be used to distribute healthy food, much of it local, to residents in Spartanburg County,” said Alissa Duncan, Coalition & Food System Coordinator, PAL. “Being able to distribute more local food also means more business for local farmers and a more resilient food system. This fruitful partnership with Ruth's Gleanings helps PAL further our mission of advancing active living, promoting healthy living, and fostering health equity."
With demand for the FoodShare program on the rise, the timing for the new box truck came when it was needed the most and when donors were willing to help. The funding for the new refrigerated box truck was provided through the generosity of UnitedHealthcare and Women Giving for Spartanburg.
From 2019 to 2020, demand for the FoodShare program grew 230% and the current trend indicates an increase of 135% in 2021. The new truck addition fills a much-needed role of distributing 9,000 boxes of fresh food this year and even greater quantities in the near future.
“We are extremely thankful for the generosity shown to us through our loyal supporters who not only understand our operational needs, but get involved in our programs,” said Tonja Smith, Founder and Executive Director of Ruth’s Gleanings. “Although we may be emerging from the pandemic, the exponential increase in demand for food boxes continues to grow and this new truck could not have arrived at a better time. We are grateful to have it and excited about expanding our ability to serve a larger community that needs fresh, nutritional food.”
About Ruth’s Gleanings
Ruth's Gleanings empowers people in nutritional poverty by increasing access to healthy, fresh food. We do this through two avenues: our gleaning program, and FoodShare, our fresh food box program. The gleaning program bridges the gap between food waste and nutritional poverty by rescuing excess fresh and healthy food and distributing it to those who need it. FoodShare Spartanburg connects families and communities to nutrition through a bi-weekly affordable box of fresh fruits and vegetables. Ruth’s Gleanings is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit https://ruthsgleanings.com/.
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