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Community partnership helps get 'clean diesels' on the roads of Michigan

As part of a collaboration to help address air pollution from diesel engines, the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), a member of Michigan Clean Diesel Initiative (MiCDI), recently awarded “Clean Diesel” grant financial assistance to Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV). This grant will partially fund improvements to three private vehicle fleets, including partial funding to help replace two older refrigerated box trucks in Forgotten Harvest’s fleet.
 
For Forgotten Harvest’s improvements, MDEQ’s financial support required at least a 75 percent funding match, leading to a broader collaboration to meet the program’s clean air goals. Southfield-based Real Estate One donated the majority of the matching funds to replace one of Forgotten Harvest’s refrigerated box trucks. Troy, Michigan-based Meritor, Inc., a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets, also contributed matching funds to acquire this new truck. 
 
The truck dedication will take place at Real Estate One, 25800 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, Michigan, on Friday, September 11 at 3:00 p.m.
 
MDEQ administers MiCDI funds, which are authorized by the federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) and released by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). MDEQ awarded funds to SDEV’s Clean Diesel Program for the purpose of improving air quality by reducing diesel emissions. The diesel equipment on the new replacement trucks will meet or exceed the current highest EPA emissions standards, reducing harmful diesel air pollutants. The new replacement trucks for Forgotten Harvest’s fleet will replace trucks operating primarily in Detroit and in Western Wayne County.
 
“We are honored for the ‘Clean Diesel’ collaboration with MDEQ and SDEV, which reinforces the environmental benefits of Forgotten Harvest’s mission: rescuing surplus healthy food for distribution to people in need and, thereby, reducing food waste and its associated environmental harm,” said Kirk Mayes, CEO, Forgotten Harvest. “We are humbled and grateful for our involvement with MDEQ, SDEV, Real Estate One and Meritor – for our first new replacement truck under this Clean Diesel Program.”  
 
Real Estate One is a long-time generous supporter of Forgotten Harvest’s work. “Helping feed people in need while also improving Michigan’s air quality is a double honor for us,” said Stuart Elsea, president, Financial Services. “We regularly have teams volunteer at Forgotten Harvest’s warehouse, and we raise funds along with awareness in support of giving back as part of our corporate social responsibility.  Contributing a major share of the matching funds to purchase this new, replacement truck with ‘clean diesel’ equipment enhances our commitment to the thousands of people Forgotten Harvest serves while providing environmental benefits to our community.”
 
“We are proud that a Meritor rear axle is the backbone of this new clean diesel truck that will make a difference in so many people’s lives,” said Krista Sohm, vice president, Marketing & Communications for Meritor.
 
SDEV is one of Detroit’s longest running environmental non-profit organizations, serving the community for over 25 years. “Our Clean Diesel Program began in 2009 and is focused on reducing negative public health and environmental impacts from the significant diesel vehicle traffic in and around Southwest Detroit,” said Kathy Stott, executive director, SDEV. “Our truly collaborative program eliminates over 4,500 tons of diesel pollutants annually. We are proud that this project with Forgotten Harvest, and by extension their supporters, has allowed us to benefit another nonprofit organization, ensuring that their important operation to eliminate food waste and feed people in need can do so while also reducing air pollution from their fleet.”
 
About Forgotten Harvest 
Oak Park, Michigan-based Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to fight two problems: hunger and waste.  Forgotten Harvest “rescued” nearly 41 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from over 800 locations, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources. This donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, is delivered free-of-charge to 280 emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area.  Forgotten Harvest has been ranked as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator for nine consecutive years.  Learn more about Forgotten Harvest and how to help drive hunger from our community at www.forgottenharvest.org.
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