To assist those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Mack Trucks and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) are partnering with the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) to deliver vital supplies, such as food and personal-care items, to nonprofit organizations who distribute these goods locally.
“In good times and bad, the trucking industry moves nearly three-quarters of our nation’s freight, helping ensure crucial supplies are delivered where they are needed,” said Martin Weissburg, president, Mack Trucks. “Working in partnership with ATA and ALAN enables us to more effectively marshal resources and deliver supplies to organizations addressing the needs of local communities across the country.”
Two model year 2019 Mack Anthem® models, which Mack provided to the ATA as part of its sponsorship of the Share the Road and Workforce Heroes programs, are now delivering shipments of supplies between nonprofit organizations, including Feed the Children and Joshua’s Heart Foundation, among others. Professional truck drivers from ATA member companies have volunteered their time to make the deliveries.
Since the ATA’s Share the Road and Workforce Heroes live safety and career education efforts have been postponed or cancelled due to shelter-in-place requirements and other safety precautions, Mack and ATA released both Anthem models to make deliveries coordinated through ALAN.
“Given all of the supply chain chaos surrounding COVID-19, it would have been easy for these organizations to press the pause button on their charitable program until the crisis was past,” said Kathy Fulton, ALAN’s executive director. “But we’re so thankful they didn’t, because trucking is always one of our non-profit partners’ biggest needs. And these vehicles are allowing us to support many relief efforts in a really big way.”
The partnership between the ATA and ALAN traces back several years and through several natural disasters. ALAN, which was founded in 2005, provides supplychain assistance to disaster relief organizations and other non-profits by connecting them with transportation resources during a crisis. In addition to connecting non-profits in need with transportation solutions, ALAN helps humanitarian organizations make every logistics dollar count.
“ATA’s relationship with ALAN dates to their creation, following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005,” said Elisabeth Barna, executive vice president, industry affairs, ATA. “At that time, our Share the Road Mack® Pinnacle™ axle back model made its maiden voyage to New Orleans with a truckload of water.”
ALAN was contacted in April by Feed the Children, a leading hunger relief organization fighting to end childhood hunger by distributing food and other essentials for daily living through its network of community partners across the country. As the response to the coronavirus pandemic began impacting traditional distribution efforts, Feed the Children began looking for solutions to ensure its tens of thousands of pounds of food and beverages, personal care items and laundry detergent located in its LaVergne, Tennessee warehouse made its way swiftly to non-profit partners around the country. It was critical to them to make sure the ever-growing needs of those affected by the pandemic could be met.
One of those community partners is the Miami, Florida-based Joshua’s Heart Foundation. Founded in 2005 by a then 4-year-old Joshua Williams, the organization is dedicated to the fight against global hunger and poverty.
“Our mission is to empower needy people to improve their quality of life by providing them necessities like groceries and personal items,” said Williams, Joshua’s Heart Foundation founder and chief changemaker. “Like all organizations, the pandemic has affected our ability to receive and distribute goods, making the shipments from Feed the Children through ALAN critical to our efforts.”
Mack and ATA will continue to coordinate transport solutions with ALAN until demand subsides.