Forgotten Harvest adds first hybrid truck to fleet

Forgotten Harvest, Metro Detroit’s only mobile food rescue organization, today took delivery of its first hybrid-powered truck. The Class 7 Freightliner, donated by Daimler Trucks North America, Daimler Financial Services and Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, will enable the organization to rescue 850,000 additional pounds of fresh food on an annual basis at a 30 percent fuel savings.

Susan Goodell, Executive Director of Forgotten Harvest, was presented the keys to the 2009 M2e Hybrid Freightliner diesel-electric truck by Klaus Entenmann, President and CEO of Daimler Financial Services, and Chris Patterson, recently retired President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, at Forgotten Harvest’s Metro Detroit facility. Ron Ricci, President of Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies of Rice Lake, WI, donated the 20 -foot fiberglass refrigerated truck body with ElectriMax, all-electric refrigeration that will keep the food fresh during deliveries to homeless shelters and social service agencies that feed the hungry throughout Metro Detroit.

“This generous donation by our friends at Daimler Financial, Daimler Trucks and Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies is a leap forward in advancing our mission of reducing hunger and waste,” Goodell said. “It will not only improve our operating efficiency by keeping fuel costs down, it will also allow us to direct more donated dollars to distributing food in a way that protects the environment.”

The 31,000-pound Class 7 truck is the fifth truck donated by Daimler Financial Services and Daimler Trucks North America and aftermarket “body builders” in the past four years, bringing Forgotten Harvest’s growing fleet to 21 vehicles.

Like a hybrid car, the M2e Hybrid Freightliner performs best with consistent stop-and-go applications. Launch and acceleration are aided by the 60hp electric motor, then with increased demand from the throttle, it blends combined diesel and electric power as needed. During braking, the braking power restores the battery charge. The hybrid system has been proven to increase brake life by over 100% in urban delivery service.

Combined with the industry’s most thermal efficient truck body and all-electric refrigeration solution by Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, the new hybrid truck will contribute a 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency over a standard powertrain Class 7 truck and body with traditional diesel-powered refrigeration.

“There is a tremendous need to feed the hungry all over the United States, but especially here in Michigan where the economy has taken its toll on those most in need,” said Entenmann. “

Patterson agreed, saying: “At Daimler, we welcome the opportunity to be able to contribute to the extraordinary work being done on a daily basis by Forgotten Harvest.”

In 2008, Forgotten Harvest rescued and delivered 9.5 million pounds of prepared and perishable food to emergency food providers across metro Detroit. This year, due to the staggering increase of people seeking food assistance, the organization is on target to distribute more than 12 million pounds. The food, which is donated by grocers, wholesalers, farmers and other food providers, is delivered same day and free of charge to soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in the tri-county area.

About Forgotten Harvest

Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to fight two problems: hunger and waste. Forgotten Harvest will rescue more than 12 million pounds of food this year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from a variety of sources, 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 absolutely free of charge to 150-plus emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area. The individuals and families served are as diverse as the community’s residents — young and old, from all races and faiths. The common bond uniting them with each other and with Forgotten Harvest is hunger. Visit www.forgottenharvest.org.

About Daimler Financial Services

Daimler Financial Services (DCFS USA LLC), headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich., provides brand-specific financing for Mercedes-Benz automotive dealers’ inventories and their retail customers, and conducts business in the United States luxury car market as Mercedes-Benz Financial. In the U.S. trucking industry, Daimler Financial Services Americas conducts business as Daimler Truck Financial and finances Daimler commercial vehicles branded Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star for dealers and their customers in the fleet, vocational, municipal and owner/operator segments. Daimler Financial Services Americas serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, and has approximately 1,600 employees. Daimler Financial Services Americas is a company of the Daimler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, which operates in 40 countries with an employee base of close to 6,800. Daimler Financial Services is one of the leading financial services organizations worldwide. For more information visit www.daimler-financialservices.com/na.

About Freightliner Trucks

Freightliner Trucks is a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Ore., and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 4-8 vehicles and is a Daimler company, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer. For more information, call or visit your nearby Freightliner Trucks dealership or go to www.FreightlinerTrucks.com.

About Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies

Johnson RefrigeratedTruck Bodies is recognized as the industry leader in refrigerated transport. With headquarters in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Johnson is the innovator and manufacturer of molded fiberglass refrigerated truck bodies and specialized trailers that range from 8 to 36 feet in length. Johnson has a reputation of quality, durability, and innovative all-electric refrigeration solutions that are designed for many years of maintenance-free delivery. In business since 1932, Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies is a CARLISLE Company. For more information please call 800-922-8360 or visit www.johnsontruckbodies.com.