Mercedes-Benz USA and its Southern Region Office in Jacksonville, announced it is preparing 2,500 meals for families and children in need and enabling thousands more to be delivered through the donation of 13 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans for a duration of at least three months to organizations that feed Jacksonville’s most vulnerable residents.
MBUSA will donate 600 meals each week through Boys and Girls Club of North Florida and Kim’s Open Door to residents of underserved areas throughout the city and will provide Feeding Northeast Florida with vehicles to help partner community organizations complete thousands of food deliveries throughout the region. These relief efforts are part of “MBUSA Curbside Caring,” an initiative of the company’s Greatness Lives Here community outreach program.
“In the wake of COVID-19, many of our neighbors are experiencing severe economic hardship – many are unsure of how they will put food on their table,” said Mike Nolte, General Manager, Southern Region, Mercedes-Benz USA. “By redeploying our resources, we have an opportunity to help feed those in need, alleviating some of the stress Jacksonville residents are feeling. Our community partners, the Mercedes-Benz Vans team and our dealer partner, Mercedes-Benz of Jacksonville, have worked together, generously volunteering their time and resources to make this initiative possible.”
MBUSA is repurposing its resources and a fleet of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vehicles to assist individuals and families facing a high risk of food insecurity -- including children out of school, adults out of work and many of Jacksonville’s most vulnerable residents. The company will prepare meals until the end of May, enabling Boys and Girls Club of North Florida and Kim’s Open Door to provide extra meals multiples times a week to residents. A donation of 13 Sprinter cargo vans will help Feeding Northeast Florida and the recipient organizations continue their vital meal deliveries. MBUSA’s dealer partner, Mercedes-Benz of Jacksonville, will provide any required service maintenance for the vans, at no cost to the organizations.
“The pandemic has created an increased need for food delivery,” said Christian Barwig, Department Manager, Mercedes-Benz Vans. “When we heard local nonprofits needed support, our team in Jacksonville spent weeks preparing a special fleet of Sprinter vans so that they could be instrumental in helping these organizations deliver on their mission,”
MBUSA’s pledge of support to organizations such as Boys and Girls Club of North Florida, Kim’s Open Door and Feeding Northeast Florida is the latest example of the company’s efforts to assist communities in which MBUSA employees live and work. In early April, MBUSA began preparing and donating meals for residents living in underserved areas of Atlanta, where MBUSA is headquartered. The company also provided nine Sprinter vans to three different organizations to help them complete thousands of food deliveries throughout the city.
“The offer by Mercedes-Benz USA to loan us these spacious Sprinter vans comes at a time when Feeding Northeast Florida and the feeding organizations we partner with are having to move more food and meals than ever before,” said Susan King, president and CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. “We directed MBUSA to 17 of our agency partners working throughout our 8-county service area that were immediately interested in increasing their capacity to move food faster and in greater quantities than they otherwise would be capable of.”