The state of Indiana is hosting a new program allowing truck drivers with rejected produce to donate the food to a good cause rather than dump the load.
The program, called “Food Drop” and organized by the Indy Hunger Network, was launched as a 6-month pilot program last year, during which time 87,000 pounds of food were saved from being dumped in a landfill and were instead donated to hungry families in need.
Since the pilot program was deemed a success, The Indy Hunger Network teamed up with the Indiana Motor Truck Association, Merchandise Warehouse, Sysco and 9 other agencies to launch the official “Food Drop” program on October 23rd, allowing truck drivers with rejected loads of food to connect with participating food banks and other resources that will help them get rid of the food “at any hour,” saving the truckers time and money while simultaneously collecting food for the hungry, reported the Indy Star.
“Unfortunately, for a truck driver, he or she only gets paid while they’re moving, in most cases… So when that driver is sitting on a rejected load, it’s time and money,” explained Barb Hunt, vice president of the Indiana Motor Truck Association.
“While a driver [will] often try to find a place to donate the food,” she continued, “hours of operation and storage restrictions often make it difficult to make the arrangement in a timely manner. Now, they can drop that freight at any of the nine participating locations or at Merchandise Warehouse or Sysco in Indianapolis, and the food will be distributed to a network of pantries across the state.”
“Everything you need is right at one location… They can come in and within 20 minutes have their truck unloaded with a receipt of donation and on the road to their next delivery,” said John Whitaker, Midwest Food Bank’s executive director.
“It’s literally a win-win,” Hunt added.