The Coalition Transportation program is instrumental in maintaining an ongoing, reliable source of food to enhance the overall capacity of each food bank. The coalition food banks, together, distribute more than 8.4 million pounds of food to south King County families and individuals with one-third (33%)--more than 2.8 million pounds--delivered to the food banks by the Coalition truck.
Without this program, food bank would have to choose between increasing their transportation budgets by up to 400% to rent trucks and/or pay for their own driver or to use their own vehicles which would allow them to only pick up a fraction (as little as one fourth) of the food they receive currently. Either choice would greatly diminish their capacity to provide needed food to low-income families and individuals in south King County.
The South King County Food Coalition Transportation Project was developed to increase the capacity of emergency food providers in South King County. Instead of using rented trucks, unreliable paid transport service or volunteer transport, the Transportation Project pools resources from several agencies to purchase/maintain a truck and fund a driver to pick up and deliver donated food. Participating food programs have better access to food from Food Lifeline and Northwest Harvest and other local businesses as a result. By sharing cost and transportation, food delivery is streamlined.
After initial research and negotiation, funding was acquired to hire a part-time driver and to purchase a 20-foot delivery truck with a 12,000 pound payload and electric pallet jack. The Multi-Service Center (MSC) is the fiscal agent of the project and the primary owner and caretaker of the truck. Currently, six agencies operating eight programs are Transportation Project participants. Each agency pays a per-trip cost that covers part of the costs of operating the program, and grant funding covers remaining costs.