My name is Jack Ferry and I’m working at Daimler Financial Services in Farmington Hills, Michigan, where we wave the flag of Social Responsibility in the Metro Detroit community. On certain days, entire departments go out and work on housing projects, fixing up schools, building new parks and playgrounds. It’s easy to spot us in our gold t-shirts, blue jeans and of course, work gloves. In June, we got the chance to make a positive contribution to the lives of Metro Detroiters in need. It took a coordinated effort by many in the Daimler family of companies and vendor partners.
Daimler Financial Services, Daimler Trucks North America and Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies all collaborated to donate the first hybrid-powered truck to Forgotten Harvest, Metro Detroit’s only mobile food rescue organization.
The Class 7 2009 M2e Hybrid diesel-electric Freightliner will enable the organization to rescue 850,000 additional pounds of fresh food on an annual basis at a 30 percent fuel savings. The 20-foot fiberglass refrigerated truck body has the all new ElectriMax, one of the first all-electric hybrid refrigeration systems that will keep the food fresh during deliveries to homeless shelters and social service agencies that feed the hungry throughout Metro Detroit.
With Chris Patterson, the recently retired President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America behind the wheel, and Klaus Entenmann, the President and CEO of Daimler Financial Services in the passenger seat, the truck drove through a banner to a cheering group of Forgotten Harvest employees and news media cameras and notepads. The truck has been the fifth donation to Forgotten Harvest over the past four years and I guess you can see that both CEOs enjoyed their drive. Chris and Klaus then delivered the truck keys to Susan Goodell, Executive Director of Forgotten Harvest. In 2008, Forgotten Harvest rescued and delivered 9.5 million pounds of prepared and perishable food to emergency food providers across Metro Detroit. This year, due to the staggering increase of people seeking food assistance, the organization is on target to distribute more than 12 million pounds. The food, which is mostly donated by grocers, wholesalers, farmers and other food providers, is delivered same day and free of charge to soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in Metro Detroit. Klaus Entenmann captured my feelings and those of all other Daimler Financial employees when he said: “There is a tremendous need to feed the hungry all over the United States, but especially here in Michigan where the economy has taken its toll on those most in need.”