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FORT PIERCE, Fl. Nov. 9, 2015 – The newest addition to Treasure Coast Food Bank’s fleet arrived Monday before a crowd of partners and supporters. The $120,000 refrigerated truck was a donation from Publix Super Market Charities, and came filled with $55,000 worth of food.

The truck will carry an additional 5 million pounds of food annually, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to those struggling with hunger on the Treasure Coast, and will be integral to helping Treasure Coast Food Bank launch its new Florida Agriculture & Nourishment Collaborative.

Treasure Coast Food Bank partners and supporters gathered Monday at its headquarters to greet the new arrival and see Publix associates from area stores unload the food into the warehouse via a human chain.

“These refrigerated trucks are needed to collect and safely transport and distribute even more wholesome, perishable foods from grocery retailers like Publix,” said Nicole Krauss, Media and Community Relations Manager for Publix’ Miami Division. The donation carries on the legacy established by Publix Founder George Jenkins, she said, adding that Publix Supermarket Charities will be donating $40 million to fight hunger this year.

The donation from Publix Super Market Charities is part of a $1.5 million donation to Feeding America and 12 of its member food banks across Publix’s operating area as part of Retail Store Donation program begun in 2011 with Treasure Coast Food Bank.

“Thank you so much for your commitment to Feeding America. This event impacts the lives of so many Americans,” said Stephanie Dragatsis, Vice President of Feeding America. “The impact is felt in every county in the United States. One truck has the power of delivering millions of meals.”

“This is an especially exciting day for us,” Treasure Coast Food Bank CEO Judith Cruz said. “We are very proud and honored to have such a wonderful and supportive partnership with Publix Super Market Charities and Publix retail stores. Since the inception of that program we have recovered more than $10 million dollars’ worth of food just from our local Publix stores, and the addition of this truck will enable us to pick up an additional 5 million pounds of food annually.”

Having the new truck as part of the fleet enables Treasure Coast Food Bank to assign a refrigerated truck exclusively to the new Florida Agriculture & Nourishment Collaborative, Cruz said. The Collaborative will gather unmarketable produce from area farmers, process, vacuum-seal and cold store it so it has a longer usable life and greater ability to get fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables into the hands of those in need.