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Fundraised cargo van making difference for Central Food Network 

The Central Food Network’s new cargo van has been a “game-changer” for local food distribution. 

That from agency officials, who say since it started service seven months ago it has already transported 105,619 pounds of food worth roughly $371,779, as well as made more than 40 deliveries to local food banks. 

The organization says the van reached its fundraising target faster than expected, thanks to the generosity of donors, service clubs, and other organizations, including the federal government. 

Tina Jackson, Executive Director of Central Food Network, says the van is a stark improvement over the used pickup truck they had before, which cost them a lot of money in maintenance. “With that, we were able to actually get a vehicle that is properly suited to move pellets of food, and has held up really well so far. It just has room to grow.” 

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Jackson says most of the food that goes into the van is surplus from other food banks, which means they’re getting food to where it’s needed at a particularly busy time of year for food banks. 

“The spike in food happens traditionally over the holidays because the food banks in the urban areas either close down over the season, or for instance some of the food that they get, they’re pushing out to school programs in the region which are obviously closed over the holidays,” says Jackson. 

She says it shows the importance of working together with food distributors and producers to make sure no food goes to waste.  

“This cargo van is not only empowering us to reach more individuals in need but also enables us to better collaborate with neighboring food banks, maximizing the impact of our collective efforts at a time when its most needed,” says Jackson. 

*With files from Mary Milne

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