Southwest Gas made a very generous donation to the Douglas Area Food Bank last week, a 2011 Ford F150 truck.
According to Jim Creason, manager of the Southwest Gas Douglas office, this is the second truck SWG has donated to the Food Bank.
“We gave them a vehicle five to six years ago,” he said. “With the support of our vice president, Julie Williams, and director Tom Muise, we were able to give them a vehicle that they can utilize hopefully for the five years or better.”
Creason said the truck that was donated has been well maintained.
“We do full services every 5,000 miles on our vehicles so this should last them a couple hundred thousand miles,” he said adding the truck has been used in the Tucson area and was recently retired because it has reached the retirement mileage limit.
“Our vice president is very supportive of our area out here,” he said. “She has really been supportive of us assisting in the community out here.”
Raul Hernandez, president for the Douglas Food Bank, stated he was very appreciative of the donation.
“I’m tickled to death,” he said. “This new vehicle will be used in so many different ways to help those that we serve with our homebound meal deliveries as well as our trips to Tucson and the Willcox Distribution Center where we receive food from to distribute to our clients.”
Hernandez said the Douglas Food Bank now has three trucks in its fleet with this latest addition and one of those trucks is on its last legs.
“This will be the newest in our fleet,” he said. “The second one was also given to us by Southwest Gas.”
Hernandez said the Douglas Food Bank serves an estimated 400 to 500 families per month.
“We provide homebound deliveries once a month,” he said. “We bring them a CSFP (Senior Food Program) box, a commodity box, a cheese box and also a TFAB emergency box. We use these vehicles for that purpose.”
Hernandez said the CSFP and TFAB are government funded programs. He added because of our area there is a higher than normal need for assistance.
“When we had the government shutdown a while back, we had quite a few people access the Douglas Food Bank,” he said. “They were very appreciative that we were able to help them, even government employees had to go to the Food Bank.”
Hernandez said hunger is a year-round problem and donations at the Douglas Food Bank are always welcomed.
“If it wasn’t for Southwest Gas and its staff, we would have to shut our doors,” Hernandez said. “The health and stewardship they show towards us is essential for our survival in the Douglas Food Bank.”
“We don’t give just the vehicle,” Creason added. “You’ve heard of the Fuel for Life program? That’s where our own employees are donating their own money out of their paychecks. The Food Bank is one of those programs that is selected by them employees themselves. Their money goes directly to the Food Bank here in Douglas to assist them. That is a yearlong check they’re receiving from us every month, to help keep their doors open. It feels good to know that we are making a difference in the community.”
Creason added SWG has also helped out other organizations in the community as well.
“Southwest Gas tries to be very active in the communities we serve,” he said. “We can’t help everybody, but we try to assist where it’s possible.”
Creason stated Southwest Gas has had a good partnership with the Douglas Food Bank and he hopes they get many years of good use out of the truck that was donated.
“It’s invaluable the help they give us,” Hernandez said. “We appreciate it so very much. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and keeping our doors open and helping our community.”
“Southwest Gas really enjoys helping out and being a part of this community,” Creason concluded.