A non-profit charity operating with the help of 90 volunteers has invested in a Fuso Canter 515 to help feed more than 35,000 people suffering from food insecurity.
The role of Geelong Food Relief is to provide over a million kilograms of food across the region every year.
It operates two mini marts in Geelong and also delivers to 45 mini food banks around the wider Geelong area.
The charity receives donations and rescues unused food as well as purchases some bulk amounts to top up its supply direct from an Aldi distribution centre.
Geelong Food Relief works with 40 assessment agencies in the region run by the likes of The Salvation Army, United Care and St Vincent de Paul.
These organisations provide food vouchers to people deemed vulnerable to food insecurity who can exchange the tokens for a good amount of food at the mini marts throughtout the region.
“We are a not-for-profit charity and money is tight, so a good price and low running costs are very important for us,” said Geelong Food Relief CEO Collin Peebles.
“Previously, we had an issue getting volunteers on the road with the necessary medium rigid licence. This truck gives us the ability to guarantee that we can have vehicles getting the work done on the road every day,” he said.
According to Peebles the business takes every opportunity to ensure its workers are safe and comfortable.
“We were looking at having a vehicle that has the Safety Pack feature that this Canter has because we have had a number of incidents of recent out on the road and the safety of our workers is paramount,” he said.
The Canter 515 has a class-leading tare weight, Independent Front Suspension and a 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine.
The 4x4 model notwithstanding, all Fuso Canters come standard with a Safety Pack that includes Advanced Emergency Braking making it the only light duty truck in the country to feature what Daimler calls critical safety technology as it uses a radar to detect possible collision and automatically brakes the truck.
Peebles said the Fuso Canter was the best choice when Geelong Food Relief needed to buy a new truck to pick up and deliver food and other items.
Operating on an automated Dual Clutch Transmission, the Canter 515 can be driven on a car licence and is easy to use especially for volunteer-reliant business.
“If they feel loved and feel safe they will come and help us get the job done,” Peebles said.