While you can’t find these nifty custom vehicles at Indianapolis Ford dealers just yet, it may not be long before you do see them all around the country. In Washington D.C. there is a customized Ford Transit van that has been a lifesaver for many. The Salvation Army is using this custom Transit to deliver hot meals to the homeless. Thanks to the donations collected, including the ones from Ford Motor Company, this van is able to serve an average of 150 meals each night to feed the homeless people in our nation’s capital.
How Is It Customized?
We’ve all seen food trucks that are made to serve food and make street sales. The Salvation Army’s Grate Patrol program van is customized with many of those same features. The service van has a sink, refrigerator, food prep area, service window, and cabinets. This enables volunteers and workers to deliver nutritious meals, snacks, and hydration to the homeless.
How Is Ford Involved?
The campaign to raise money for this van and its customization was open to donations. Ford is among the primary contributors, and Ford volunteers also went on the road the first night to help serve meals from the Transit. Janet Lawson, director, Ford Motor Company Fund, says, “Ford is proud to support The Salvation Army’s mobile meals program as part of our commitment to help build strong communities everywhere our employees live and work. Transit—America’s best-selling commercial van—has the size and flexibility that make it the right vehicle for this program.”
The Grate Patrol had a van that more than earned its place in history, serving the homeless for 10 years. The new Transit has a high roof, extended wheel base, and a 3.5 liter V6 engine, as well as the custom fixtures to make it a great addition to the program. Ford Motor Company is helping this program continue after they had to retire their old van, and will continue to help provide for the homeless in D.C. and hopefully other areas across the country.
Major Lewis R. Reckline, area commander of The Salvation Army, issued a statement about Ford’s participation. He said, “The Salvation Army is grateful to Ford Motor Company for its generous donation to our Grate Patrol van campaign. Ford’s gift—along with contributions from several other community members—will help us to continue serving the homeless for years to come.”
The Salvation Army has distributed more than 1.3 million meals since the Grate Patrol began. This new van will help them continue to help feed the homeless in our nation’s capital. Hopefully this program will spread across the country and address the needs of the homeless in other cities as well.
Bloomington car dealerships are proud to be part of the Ford family. The Ford Motor Company has a long history of contributing, donating, and giving back to local communities around the country. This customized Transit van is just one example of Ford participating in community outreach. If you would like to learn more about Ford Motor Company and community involvement, visit your local Ford dealer and ask some questions about what is happening in your area.