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Food bank wins new Toyota Sienna van
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The Second Harvest Food Bank in Manteca has profited from its competition with other non-profits vying for one of 100 new Toyota vehicles in a recent nation-wide contest based on call-in votes by members of the San Joaquin and Stanislaus County communities.

The “100 Cars for Good” chose the food bank from calls made on Oct. 8 as its second place winner that day drawn from five other competitors.  The win will see a $26,500 Sienna mini-van delivered in about four months to the Manteca Industrial Park complex.

Second Harvest serves over 365,000 people in need each year by collaborating with partnered charities serving a seven county area.

Food Bank staffers Kirsten Salas and Jessica Vaughn spent countless hours as a team writing the grant for the vehicle.

“The Toyota Sienna will allow for more efficient transportation of staff and volunteers,” Salas said.  “It will provide our staff with an economical vehicle for monitoring visits to the 133 charities our agency coordinator and director make over 150 trips per year within the counties we serve including the Mother Lode.”

Salas added that the van will be used for expanding community awareness including community events, meetings and fundraisers.  Second Harvest Food Bank’s staffers attend many events that bring awareness of the food insecurity that is in our community seeing the life-long effects of its efforts.

“Having a vehicle that is large enough to transport tables, chairs, bulletin boards and our staff as well is ideal,” she said.  “We can now attend events and meeting in one vehicle.  A Toyota Sienna will give us the ability to put strategic transportation routes in place.  Those routes will allow for efficient program travel times and event attendance.”

She said the staff can now provide deliveries to home-bound seniors with some having mobility issues and are unable to travel to the site locations for the Green Bag or Senior Brown Bag programs. “To ensure their participation we can now serve as a backup for home deliveries as needed,” she added.