Christmas has come early to the Salvation Army in Williams Lake.
Thanks to a $45,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, the Salvation Army has a brand new 2019 Ford cargo van.
“We’ve never had anything like this before,” said Tamara Robinson, director of family services and community outreach. “It’s fantastic. It has a Carrier cooling system which allows us to transport frozen goods.”
Robinson said through Food Banks Canada they were able to apply for a capacity boost grant.
“Our food bank has been struggling in recent times to have a well-functioning means of transportation to and from our daily food pickup partners.”
Since purchasing the vehicle, the Salvation Army has seen a 43 per cent increase in fresh food distribution to people in need.
“The purchase of this van will also allow us to more effectively transport food as need in time of crisis or emergency, and reduce shipping costs of skids from our Food Bank Hub in Prince George,” Robinson said.
Thanking Lake City Ford, especially Don Vallerga, for the help and support with navigating the ‘large’ purchase, Robinson said when she went to pick up the van, the local staff had filled it with items for the food bank.
“Our new vehicle was packed with pantry goods that we were able to use in our hampers to feed those struggling in our community.”
Funding in the amount of $16,000 also came from the United Way Thomson Nicola Cariboo help in stall the bulkhead, insulation and Carrier refer unit.
“As a non-profit, there are no funds to be able to purchase much-needed equipment like this and without the Walmart Foundation, this dream of ours would not have been a possibility,” Robinson said.
Schickworks in Williams Lake did the custom exterior work on the van, which includes words such as ‘dignity, faith, hope in different languages, which Robinson said represents the international values of the Salvation Army.