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A Local Partnership in Action

Anderson based, Carter Express held a bonus tailgate food distribution for Madison County residents on June 5, at the Nichol Avenue tailgate location in the old Kmart parking lot. In conjunction with Second Harvest, this extra tailgate was made possible by the money raised by Carter’s fund drive and covered the cost of sponsorship for the tailgate.

As a company we want to do as much as we can to serve our local community, said Jessica Paugh Warnke, Director of Marketing and Communications at Carter Express. Second Harvest is the largest provider of food pantries and meeting the needs of residents in Madison County so it was a perfect fit for us. At Carter Express, tailgate sponsorship such as this one come from the employee-ran Community Action Committee (CAC) who work with multiple nonprofits in Madison County.

“We believe in what Second Harvest is trying to achieve and we’d all like to see hunger erased in the community,” Warnke said. “By partnering with an organization like Second Harvest that has so much experience and such a good reputation, it’s an easy way for us to give to the community with a partner who knows what they’re doing.”

In these upcoming months, hunger is at the forefront of the CAC’s focus, especially with children getting ready to be home for the summer and not having access to the free meals they would get during the academic year. “Hunger not only affects the employees but it affects everybody in the community,” CAC co-chair Robyn Bogenschutz said. “It affects the employees because we live here. We see it. Just driving down the road, we see it every day; people on the street corners needing money for food. We want to be part of the community and help make where we live and work better.”

Carter provided the opportunity for their employees to help in all logistics of the extra tailgate such as driving, collecting the food from Second Harvest, setting up, tearing down and distributing food in addition to donating the money.

The CAC logs all of the volunteer hours, all of their other initiatives as well as the amount of grants given. The log is sent back to their parent company, Hitachi, Ltd. Hitachi does a national food drive every year and as one of the partnering companies, Carter has been involved for four years.

President and CEO John Paugh said “I’m proud of our employees for the work they have done with the CAC so far and I’m excited to see what the future holds for Carter’s community advocacy.”

Second Harvest is thrilled to have this community partnership with Carter Express. The total support for this food distribution was a great example of what is possible when people respond to the needs of the community. Thousands of struggling people benefited from the Carter Express team on June 5. Contact me at tkean@curehunger.org or 765-287-8698 if your organization would like to partner with Second Harvest Food Bank as well.

Written by Tim Kean

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