Manzanita Outreach, a nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger in the Verde Valley area of Arizona, recently procured a 24-foot refrigerated truck it plans to use to share approximately 1 million pounds of food annually.
The organization obtained the 2015 medium-duty Freightliner through a series of generous grants. The truck features a Thermo King refrigeration unit with low hours and a liftgate with a 3,000-pound capacity.
“The refrigerated truck provides us with the mobility we need to bring food to the communities, neighborhoods and even the homes of our neighbors,” said Mike Newcomb, executive director of Manzanita, who has a logistics background and formerly served as the North American director of Amazon’s grocery unit.
“Thanks to the generous grants from our partners, we are one step closer to reaching the goal we all have of ending hunger in the Verde Valley.”
Previously, Manzanita leased or borrowed trucks for all of its events. Through grants from the Association of Arizona Food Banks, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, United Way of Yavapai County and the Arizona Community Foundation, Manzanita now has its own reefer truck for transporting high-quality food throughout northern Arizona.
“Our organization is thrilled to support Manzanita Outreach,” said Annette Olson, executive director of United Way of Yavapai County. “They are truly getting food to our neighbors and changing the landscape of food distribution in our communities.”
So far in 2019, Manzanita’s food sharing model has distributed more than 500,000 pounds of perishable and non-perishable food in the Verde Valley. To accommodate working families, the organization recently added a Saturday Food Sharing Event in Cottonwood at the Verde Valley Christian Church. They also plan to add Food Sharing Events in Camp Verde and Rimrock this fall.
Manzanita Outreached planned a dedication ceremony for the new truck July 20 at Verde Valley Christian Church in Cottonwood AZ. The event is free and open to the community.
“Many of our neighbors aren’t able to make it to other food-assistance providers in the Verde Valley,” Newcomb said. “We identify the gaps in service and fill them.”