One man’s wrecked rig is another man’s huge food donation: Food bank receives 40,000 lbs fresh produce after truck gets stuck in ditch

A soup kitchen in Alaska was able to feed fresh produce to families in need late last month after the semi truck hauling it overturned, making the load ineligible for sale at a grocery store. 

Bean’s Café and Children’s Lunchbox received the 30,000 to 40,000 pounds of food on Christmas Eve, after the truck hauling it crashed into a ditch on its way from Portland. No one was injured in the wreck, but the receiver would no longer accept the food, so Vulcan towing, who responded to the wreck, decided it could be put to good use by those who truly need it. 

“We were just about out of fresh produce,” said Lisa Sauder, CEO of the Anchorage, Alaska food bank, to Alaska’s News Source

“This time of year, fresh produce gets harder and harder for us to get and so to be given this gift of produce that we can be given right away for meals… it’s gonna help so many people. It really is kind of a little bit of a Christmas miracle.”

18 people from Vulcan towing worked from Wednesday evening into Thursday morning to get the chicken, strawberries, spinach, hamburger meat, and more reloaded onto another truck, and Sauder says they couldn’t be more thankful, especially during the hardship brought about by COVID-19. 

“We’ve never seen this kind of demand or need and we are daily hearing from people who have never been in this position of not knowing how they’re going to feed their kids or where they’re going to sleep tonight,” Sauder said.

Director of the food pantry, Scott Lingle, said that the large quantity of food could last them up to three weeks, feeding 800 families up to three meals a day. 

“The important thing about it is it’s not so much the quantity of food, it’s the type of food,” Lingle said. “There’s a lot of very fresh vegetables, very fresh fruits.”

“I’ve got my kids down here, and it’s not always about giving gifts,” said Justin Creech, owner of Vulcan Towing, who facilitated the food donation. 

“It’s not always about that. It’s about giving back to our community and it’s a wonderful deal. We’re super blessed to be able to do this.”