wealth distribution

Second Harvest pressing on with food distribution despite high fuel costs

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The non-profit did say that high fuel costs leave less money for food purchasing.

SPOKANE, Wash. — According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in Spokane Tuesday was just under $4.14.

With prices on the rise, the cost of filling up a large vehicle’s gas tank can get expensive fast, but the trucks that deliver food for Second Harvest are still on the move.

The non-profit’s fleet is feeling the high prices at the pump like everyone else.

“We’re not big enough to have a bulk rate. So, like everybody else, we’re going to the gas pumps, and yeah, the prices are higher,” said Eric William, Community Partnerships Director for Second Harvest.

Second Harvest uses nine trucks, including five tractor-trailers and two mobile market trucks, to get food to communities in need. Williams said Second Harvest distributed more than 52 million pounds of food as the pandemic began in 2020. Last year, the non-profit gave out a little less than 40 million pounds of food.

Even with the increasing costs of fueling their trucks, Second Harvest isn’t slowing down.

“We always figure out a way and we focus really hard on those distant rural areas, because those are some of the places that are the most in need,” Williams said. “If we have to pay a little bit more for fuel to get to Republic or to Paterson or somewhere else out in the rural areas, we’re going to do it.”

Luckily, Williams said fuel costs haven’t had too much of an impact on Second Harvest just yet, but that could change if prices don’t drop in the coming weeks.

“When fuel prices go up, whether it’s gas or diesel, that really affects us. The more money that we spend on fuel is less money that we have to go out and buy food,” he said.

While Second Harvest gets a lot of donations from farmers, grocery stores and even private citizens, Williams said the money is needed to buy certain foods that the non-profit doesn’t normally receive from outside sources. He also said Second Harvest is thankful for all of the donations they have received, and while they have thousands of volunteers, they will always take more help.

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