Locally-based cold storage facilities go extra mile for food bank

When The Food Bank received a generous donation of 27,000 frozen turkey breasts from Target in November, Shirley Del Rio, Director of Warehouse Operations was thrilled.

“I knew that with holidays coming up, our member agencies and our Mobile Food Bank guests would be happy to receive them, but I worried about where we could store such a large volume of frozen meats. Our warehouse was already filled to capacity,” she says.

Del Rio doesn’t like to turn away food donations, so she made a few phone calls asking for assistance. That’s when Pioneer Cold Logistics Services in Chicopee and Lineage Logistics Storage in Westfield stepped in to help. Pioneer Cold donated storage space for 54 pallets of turkeys and assisted with coordinating carriers to pick them up from CNS Wholesale Grocers in Westfield where they had been delivered by Target.

“Contracting a carrier to haul five loads [126 pallets of turkeys] at normal cost would have been in the ballpark of $5,100.00, a cost that The Food Bank would not have been able to manage,” Del Rio adds.

Lineage Logistics agreed to take the remaining 58 pallets. Jason Adams, sales manager for the national company says that The Food Bank’s request fit in perfectly with the philanthropic goals of the company and its employees.

“On a National level we have [also] partnered with Feeding America to limit food waste …  Locally, we support the efforts of The Food Bank’s mission to end hunger insecurity in Western Mass,” Adams states.

“Donations of this size are few and far between. When they do occur, the impact is nothing short of astonishing,” adds Del Rio.

In February, The Food Bank received a donation of 950 cases of hams from Target. Lineage Logistics will be storing these items through the spring of 2020.