Walmart gives PACS a new produce-picking truck

See why the donation of this vehicle will make a positive difference to needy outer East Portland families …

People get a look at the new refrigerated delivery truck donated to Portland Adventist Community Services by the Oregon Walmart Foundation.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Staff members, volunteers, and community supporters of Gateway-area-based Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS) came together to rejoice on July 30.

“We are celebrating the donation of a new refrigerated truck from Walmart,” exclaimed PACS Associate Director Tim Zollbrecht. “It will help us gather fresh produce for our Food Pantry.”

PACS Associate Director Tim Zollbrecht welcomes guests to the truck dedication celebration.

The refrigerated truck helps PACS’ mission, Zollbrecht told East Portland News, because most grocery suppliers will not donate fresh produce to organizations if they don’t have refrigerated transport. “It allows us to bring in fresh fruit and vegetables that we would not ordinarily have for our clients.”

The brand-new, right off the assembly line Isuzu HD delivery truck features a fully refrigerated box. “It is safer because the lift-gate on our old truck was getting less than reliable and safe,” Zollbrecht explained. “This truck is also at an appropriate height, so it is level with most warehouse loading docks.”

Tim Zollbrecht says the food pantry helps thousands of families each month.

Having a greater variety of food helps the 75 to 100 families the PACS Food Pantry serves, five days a week. Because each family is allowed to come one day a month – it means they serve about 2,000 families a month, in total.

As Zollbrecht started the formal program by commenting, “We’re very grateful to Walmart for their donation. Without it, through the Walmart Foundation, we would not have this truck. Almost 1,500,000 pounds of food have been given to the community – and all that has come by truck – in the last year.”

He also congratulated PACS Development Associate Brian Vistaunet, who wrote the winning grant application to the Walmart Foundation.

Food Pantry Director Ron Meisner tells why he’s thankful for the new truck.

“This is a tremendous gift,” remarked PACS Food Pantry Director Ron Meisner.

“It’s hard for many to realize how much this will be helping us,” Meisner added. “It has features that the other truck did not have. And, it allows us to bring in fresher food for the people.”

Pantry patron Christina Tzib tells how the organization helps her family.

A client of the PACS Food Pantry, Christina Tzib, stepped up to commend the work of the nonprofit organization.

“This food pantry makes a very big difference in our lives,” Tzib said. “As a single mother, one of the struggles that I have is having food to feed our family of six. We look forward to having more fresh food available.”

PACS Chairman Tom Mostert dedicates the new truck with a prayer.

“This world has many problems,” said PACS Chairman Tom Mostert, as he offered the dedication invocation. “Because of that, this organization was formed – to be there, to help and assist those who find themselves in difficulty.

“We ask Your blessing on this truck, the drivers, and the volunteers who serve the thousands of people in our community.”

Refreshments are served by volunteers!

Representatives of the Oregon Walmart Foundation were not available for comment. The fact that they funded a brand new truck for PACS illustrates their appreciation of the organization’s mission, in the view of the grateful recipients.

Portland Adventist Community Services
11020 NE Halsey St, Portland OR 97220
(503) 252-8500
To see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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