The generous spirit of the Christmas season was on display as carriers teamed up with Trucks For Change to deliver food to people in need.
The Erb Group of Companies, Apps Transportation Group and ColdStar Solutions rolled their 18-wheeler sleds over long distances so that families in Kenora, Ont., and Nanaimo, B.C., can enjoy holiday meals.
Trucks For Change helps Canadians in need by connecting carriers and charities, shipping supplies to food banks across the country throughout the year.
Betsy Sharples, executive director of Trucks For Change, said she keeps asking carriers to pick up more supplies. “I keep nagging them and they are wonderful, so nice to me.”
Carriers are willing to go the extra mile, and on this occasion, the Erb Group president and CEO hauled the food himself. Wendell Erb wanted to meet his new terminal manager and team in Winnipeg while he was at it. He hopped into a truck earlier this month and dropped off 14 pallets of frozen food to Kenora along the way.
“Being so close to the holidays, it was a great way to lift spirits and bring food to families’ tables this year,” Erb said.
A few years ago, Confederation Freezers formed an alliance with the Kenora Chief’s Advisory Committee in Kenora, and asked sister companies to donate frozen food. It contacted Sharples to transport the donations.
Erb Transport answered the call and has been transporting the loads ever since, Sharples said.
Meanwhile, Apps Transportation Group and ColdStar Solutions created just-in-time Christmas magic on the West Coast. Nanaimo Loaves & Fishes food bank had arranged for volunteers to unload and pack hampers over a Friday and weekend in early December.
Apps hauled the shipment from Concord, Ont., to Vancouver, B.C., and ColdStar picked it up and delivered it to Vancouver Island before the volunteers showed up.
Cliff Correia, assistant vice-president, operations, Apps Transport Group said communication about the shipment was prioritized so that ColdStar could pick it up on time.
“Apps is always happy to answer the call to assist Trucks for Change and its partner charities. It’s not that difficult to find space for a few pallets every once in a while and knowing that we are helping food-insecure Canadians is very rewarding for our company and our people,” Correia said.
Trevor Sawkins, ColdStar Solution’s chief operating officer said coordination with Apps was key. Several people doing everything right and everyone stepping up made it happen.
“We only haul food and want to give back to the community and people who are less fortunate than us. This fits perfectly with our values and what we want to do on our little island in our corner of Canada” he said.
“Our staff are pleased to help those less fortunate to have a better Christmas, it brings added meaning to their jobs. It’s really special.”
Erb was part of a similar initiative last year and helped bring a load of donations to Thunder Bay, where another of his drivers picked it up and finished the haul.
“Our role in delivering the food is just one small piece of a larger operation of people working hard to drive positive change through the industry. I believe in the past years my dad has also done this run. As long as we can, we will.”
This year, Santa’s helpers in their big rigs sure made the season merry and bright for a bunch of strangers. And they did it with a smile on their faces.
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