RNJ News Department

John Johnson Auto Group Donates Truck to Local Food Rescue Group

Mount Olive Twp. (Morris County)–Sometimes you need a little help from your friends. The John Johnson Auto Group in Budd Lake has lent a much needed helping hand to the Foodshed Alliance’s LocalShare program.

LocalShare organizes volunteers to harvest/glean nutritious, healthy food that would otherwise be wasted on farms and delivers it to local food pantries to feed those in need. Last year, the program delivered more than 45,000 lbs. of food, enough for 130,000 meals.

Deliveries were made to food pantries in Sussex, Warren and Morris counties in volunteers’ personal vehicles, sometimes carrying a ton or more of corn or apples up to 50 miles. Needless to say, this took quite a toll on their cars’ suspensions.

Thanks to the generosity of the John Johnson Auto Group, LocalShare now has a 2007 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500 SLT to easily transport tons of produce wherever it is needed. “We are so thankful to this community-minded local company,” said Kendrya Close, executive director of the Foodshed Alliance which operates the LocalShare program. “Mr. Johnson and his team is so supportive of our work and this truck is critical in helping us get healthy, local, farm-fresh food to people in need.”

“Forty percent of food in the U.S. goes to waste while 1 in 9 people in New Jersey struggles with hunger, said John Johnson, president of John Johnson Auto Group. “We are happy to support this local group that is tackling these problems right here in our own backyard.”

The vehicle was officially transferred at a presentation today held at Lord’s Pantry at Trinity United Methodist Church in Hackettstown. “It just makes sense to honor the transaction here,” said Christine Parauda, coordinator of LocalShare. “Trinity operates one of the 50 or so food pantries that we deliver to and we have a really great partnership with them.”

At the event, Kendrya Close announced the kickoff of the Foodshed Alliance’s fund drive to raise money for gas and upkeep of the vehicle. “We are asking supporters who believe in the work we do to send us gift cards and donations that can be used to pay for gas, insurance, registration fees and upkeep of the truck.” They can be sent to the Foodshed Alliance at P.O. Box 713, Blairstown, NJ 07825, or contributed online at LocalShareNJ.org.

For more information, please contact Lisa Kelly, Communication Director, Foodshed Alliance at 908-652-1866 or lisa@foodshedalliance.org.