Darden and the Darden Foundation have been partners with Feeding America for over 10 years.  -  Photo: Penske Truck Leasing

Darden and the Darden Foundation have been partners with Feeding America for over 10 years.

Photo: Penske Truck Leasing

Penske Truck Leasing and Lineage Logistics is partnering with Darden Restaurants to add refrigerated trucks for 10 member food banks, helping Feeding America support mobile pantry programs and food distribution in communities.

Each food bank will receive a 26-foot vehicle that can transport 12,000 lbs. of food at a time through a $2 million grant from the Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation., along with $26,000 to use for food and other needs.

“Feeding people is what we do, but the hard reality is that there are still too many families in communities we serve who struggle to put a meal on the table,” said Gene Lee, chairman and CEO of Darden Restaurants. “We’re uniquely positioned to help, and by leveraging our scale and relationships with partners like Penske Truck Leasing and Lineage Logistics, we’re proud to do our part to help get food into the hands of people who need it.”

The food banks include:

Food banks receiving this gift include:

  • Community Food Bank of Central Alabama in Birmingham, Ala.

  • East Texas Food Bank in Tyler, Texas

  • Feeding the Gulf Coast in Theodore, Ala.

  • Feeding Northeast Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.

  • Feeding Tampa Bay in Tampa, Fla.

  • Food Bank of North Alabama in Huntsville, Ala.

  • Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana in Monroe, La.

  • Forgotten Harvest in Detroit, Mich.

  • Mississippi Food Network in Jackson, Miss.

  • Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth, Texas

Sixty million people looked for support from food banks, food pantries, and other private food assistance programs in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a 50% increase from 2019.

“Millions of families continue to face impossible decisions — like choosing to put food on the table or pay their rent,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Food banks are focused on improving people’s access to food, particularly in communities of color where people are inordinately impacted by food insecurity. Refrigerated trucks help make that possible. We are grateful to Darden, Penske and Lineage for providing vehicles to member food banks, helping them to distribute more food safely to people who need us most.”

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