California food bank grapples with rising freight costs blamed on ELDs

A food bank in San Luis Obispo County, California, says that they are having trouble keeping fresh produce in stock because new Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations have caused their freight costs to double or even triple.

The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County says that they’ve been passing on planned shipments of produce because the shipping costs have increased dramatically in the past few months, according to KSBY. Even though the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County typically splits the cost of shipping with other nearby food banks to cut down on costs, they say that the freight bills are becoming increasingly unmanageable since the ELD Mandate went into effect in December 2017.

The Food Bank Coalition’s Director of Operations Tim Parker believes that ELD regulations are to blame for the increased costs: “What we’re experiencing now is that on some of those longer haul routes, formerly we might have expected to split a freight bill between the food banks of let’s say 400 dollars. We’re seeing sometimes double or triple that amount.

The Food Bank Coalition provides nutrition assistance for approximately 3,000 area families as well as providing breakfast and children’s farmer’s market services for about 1,500 children per month. For now, the food bank operators are finding ways to fill in the gaps, but the increased freight bills could have a major impact on the nutrition programs for lower income families in the future.

The San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau is reportedly asking lawmakers to waive ELD regulations for agricultural haulers.