In August of 2016, The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham gifted Grace Klein Community with an amazing grant, allowing us to purchase a box truck. The box truck opened many new opportunities, including our ability to receive more rescued food.
After an accident at the end of May 2017 community truly realized how hard it is to operate without the use of the box truck. How did we manage the load before?
It was a normal Tuesday and volunteers were headed in the truck to pick up produce donations. As our volunteers were exiting on the interstate off ramp, a car came out of nowhere and smashed into the passenger side of the cab of the truck. The truck was badly damaged, and the car that hit the truck totaled. A semi-truck driver stopped and provided information as a witness and helped piece the puzzle together, since the car seemed to come out of nowhere. Instead of having the truck towed, volunteers limped the truck to the produce donor, loaded the produce donations, and carefully drove back to the office with a truckload of food to bless others. The driver and passenger were sore, but wanted to be sure to get food back to share.
Over the next week, we were told that the driver of the car had no insurance. We were making small produce pick-ups in the Tahoe, hand loading everything, watching a lot of food be thrown away that we couldn’t transport, and waiting. Scott arranged to have the truck towed to a shop for repair estimates and we waited in line for a repair price. Just as we received the estimate back and were getting ready to process a claim against our insurance, Scott’s phone rang… it was the other driver’s insurance company asking about our truck. They spoke and Scott emailed over the estimates. A week went by and we didn’t hear anything back. When Scott called to follow up, they told us our truck was totaled due to the value they had placed on it. A valuation given that was about 25% of its actual value. We contested the value, two more weeks went by and we practiced the fine art of waiting. Throughout the first couple weeks of June, we realized how much we had taken the truck for granted and what an impact it made on our food sharing.
While the claim was pending, the driver’s insurance graciously provided a rental truck for us to use putting us back on the road to transport our normal size daily food pick-ups. We trusted God would continue to provide for all our transport needs. Finally, they made a decision. The truck was deemed repairable, they authorized the shop to begin, and we were waiting on parts. On July 6th, our truck came home.
Every step in this process from wreck, insurance claim, to repair reminds us of the treasure of waiting on God, trusting God’s provision and the many donors He uses to keep our daily operations going. We remember with fondness the day of the wreck, how God kept our volunteer drivers safe and without injury, how the truck limped back to the GKC office, completely full of milk, and the 30+ volunteers who came quickly to help give it all away. No wonder it’s called “community.”