Food insecurity is a large issue for millions of American families who don’t know when or where their next meal will come from. Nationally 1 in 8 Americans is considered food insecure, while in Philadelphia it is 1 in 5. Local Toyota dealers along with a local nonprofit, Philabundance, plan to address this need with 330,000 pounds of food being delivered by 75 Toyota Tundra trucks.
The event taking place on December 16, 2016 is part of the “Toyota Tundra Food Drive” and it is billed as just a preview of the anti-hunger impact Toyota intends to make in 2017 according to a press release. This year’s donation of 330,000 lbs of food is up more than 80,000 meals than last year. The food will be delivered through the holidays and the months after.
“We are so grateful to Toyota for its efforts to haul away hunger today, and all year long,” said Glenn Bergman, Executive Director of Philabundance. “Hunger is an issue 365 days a year, and due to Toyota’s largest donation to date, we will be able to provide food to more people in need when they need it. Thank you, Toyota, for your ongoing support over the past 10 years and extremely generous donation to help us drive hunger from our communities to ultimately end it forever.
The convoy will measure more than five football fields in length and will haul pallets of food for the hungry.
It will be the largest food drive to date in the event celebrating 10 years. The food was purchase through donations made by the Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association (which comprises 25 dealerships in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) and 26 of the dealers’ business partners, including television and cable outlets, radio stations and sports organizations. It also provides greater awareness of the hunger crisis our area faces.
“With the help of all our business partners, the Tri-State Toyota dealers are thankful for the opportunity to provide Philabundance with 165 tons of food this year,” said Paul Muller, president of the Tri-State TDA. “Hunger relief continues to be a serious issue facing many in our community.”
Beyond the dealers, Toyota Financial Services, Toyota Material Handling Northeast and the Central Atlantic and New York regions of Toyota Motor Sales, USA join in to help.
“We are once again proud to partner with the Tri-State Toyota Dealers in our combined efforts to support Philabundance,” said Tim Bliss, General Manager of Toyota’s Central Atlantic Region. “Our dealers do a fantastic job of supporting important local causes and there is no better example of the impact they can have working together than the annual Toyota Tundra Food Drive in Philadelphia.”
Although the cause is serious, the mood of the day will be festive, as the food drive has become one of Philly’s most highly anticipated charitable events. The awe-inspiring truck convoy will depart from Philabundance’s North Philadelphia warehouse, make the 7-mile trip down Columbus Boulevard under a police escort, and arrive at Citizen’s Bank Park, where it will be greeted by a throng of supporters, media personalities and Philadelphia sports icons.
For members of Toyota Material Handling Northeast, the opportunity to supply forklifts for the event was appreciated. “At Toyota Material Handling Northeast, we take great pride in following the core values that have shaped the Toyota brand for decades,” said Jacob Ratekin, President and Chief Financial Officer of Toyota Material Handling Northeast. “Two of these core values – ‘Be Kind & Generous’ and ‘Be Faithful To Your Duties’ – really shape the way TMHNE operates in the greater Philadelphia area. Partnering with and supporting the efforts of Philabundance and the 10th annual Toyota Tundra Food Drive is an amazing opportunity for TMHNE and our associates to give back to the community that we so deeply cherish.”
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. But Toyota Tundra Food Drive is, of course, all about food.
Muller is excited to celebrate the partnerships and collaboration that have made Toyota’s charitable vision a reality in his hometown. “Seeing all that we can accomplish when working together, I am not only tremendously proud to be a Toyota dealer, I am proud to be a Philadelphian!” he said. “There are very few cities where the spirit of ‘brotherly love’ truly plays out with so many individuals from competing organizations coming together to do something so good and meaningful for the community. In that spirit, I am proud to announce that Toyota and our partners are donating its largest donation of funds to date to help Philabundance provide for neighbors in our community.”
Toyota hopes that its food drive will inspire other organizations and individuals to help Philabundance in any way possible. Visit www.philabundance.org to find out how you can get involved in hunger relief, and join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #HaulAwayHunger.