From Our Press Room

November 8, 2022

WHITE PONY EXPRESS TO ACQUIRE NEW DELIVERY VEHICLE


By: Fred Stambaugh


Health officials estimate an overall food-insecurity rate in Contra Costa County of 10 percent (some 83,000 individuals). It is higher among children, 11.8 percent. Both figures are up roughly two percentage points since the official onset of the pandemic in March of 2020.


Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary has completed Phase 1 of a project to purchase a new refrigerated delivery van, raising over $83,000 thus far. Phase 1 funds the purchase of the vehicle; Phase 2, which is expected to complete in the next few months, is the purchase and installation of a refrigeration unit.


Delivery vans pick up perishable food at grocery stores and restaurants for transport to the White Pony Express (WPE) distribution center, where it will undergo a thorough culling and sorting by volunteers. Vans then transport high-quality perishable food to more than 80 partner agencies serving Contra Costa County’s most vulnerable populations. All this takes place within 24 hours, seven days a week.


Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary spearheaded the campaign. Substantial contributions were received from many generous individuals and organizations, including fourteen local Rotary Clubs. They are the Rotary Clubs of Antioch, Brentwood, Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise, Concord, Concord-Diablo, Hercules, Lafayette, Lamorinda Sunrise, Martinez, Moraga, Orinda, Rossmoor, Walnut Creek, and Walnut Creek Sunrise. Additionally, sizeable grants were received from Rotary District 5160, Mechanics Bank, and the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church.

Informed of the success of the campaign, Eve Berge, WPE executive director, commented, “This is such incredible news! I am totally awed! Oh, happy day!” As if to underscore her excitement, she included a picture of a happy WPE “customer.” 

Noted Dan Herbert, president of Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary, "We are delighted to have partnered with White Pony Express, thereby enabling them to deliver fresh food to thousands of individuals in need." 


White Pony Express (WPE) was founded in 2013 in an effort to help alleviate the food insecurity experienced by many in our midst. WPE assists by delivering to underserved individuals wholesome foodstuffs and other goods that otherwise would end up in the landfill. 


A corollary benefit is that preventing this material from rotting in landfills helps to reduce the emission of methane and other environmentally harmful greenhouse gases. For more information on WPE’s mission visit https://www.whiteponyexpress.org/



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FUN FACTS

  • With a very small staff, WPE is a volunteer-powered organization.
  • WPE's values are Selfless Service, Appreciation, Collaboration, and Respect.
  • Rotary presented White Pony Express with its first refrigerated van about four years ago. It's still on the road!
  • The van has allowed volunteers to pick up approximately 2,200 pounds per day of donated food. That is over 3,000,000 pounds of food rescued and delivered to those in need in the four years since Rotary provided this vehicle.