FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Just in time for the holidays, Santa joined Mercedes-Benz Financial Services today to make a special delivery of a new 2016 Freightliner (Class 6) refrigerated truck to Forgotten Harvest at its Oak Park (Mich.) headquarters. This is the sixth vehicle since 2007 that Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has sponsored for Forgotten Harvest in support of its mission to rescue fresh food to feed the hungry.
A grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) awarded to Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV) also helped underwrite the cost of the new refrigerated replacement truck. In addition to the truck, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services also made a special donation to help Forgotten Harvest provide an additional 5,000 holiday meals for local families in need.
Santa was joined by: Kirk Mayes, CEO of Forgotten Harvest; Chris Trainor, Senior Manager of Controlling at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and a longtime Forgotten Harvest volunteer; Debbie Swartz, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Office of Environmental Assistance; and Kathy Stott, Executive Director of Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV).
“Just like Santa could not deliver gifts without his trusty sleigh, Forgotten Harvest cannot realize its mission of delivering fresh food to the hungry in our local community without a reliable fleet,” said Chris Trainor. “Mercedes-Benz Financial Services was honored to work with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and its local partner, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, to check this gift off Forgotten Harvest’s wish list during this holiday season.”
Kirk Mays added, “Our wish this year was to be able to replace two of our older refrigerated box trucks with clean-burning diesel trucks that would reduce air pollution, while helping us rescue more food. Thanks to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ long-standing commitment, combined with the MDEQ and SDEV partnership, the holidays will be so much brighter for many families in Southeast Michigan who might otherwise not have enough to eat.”
As part of a collaboration to help address air pollution from diesel engines, the State of Michigan MDEQ awarded a “Clean Diesel” grant to SDEV’s Clean Diesel Program earlier this year for the purpose of improving air quality by reducing diesel emissions. This grant partially funded improvements to replace two older refrigerated box trucks in Forgotten Harvest’s fleet. 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. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services provided the matching funds to replace one of Forgotten Harvest’s refrigerated box trucks.
The new trucks for Forgotten Harvest’s fleet will replace trucks operating primarily in Detroit and in Western Wayne County. The diesel equipment on the new replacement trucks will meet or exceed the current highest EPA emissions standards.
About Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with Business Center Operations in Fort Worth, Texas, provides brand-specific financial products and services for Mercedes-Benz and smart automotive dealers and their retail customers. In the U.S. trucking industry, it conducts business as Daimler Truck Financial and provides flexible financial products and services for Daimler Trucks North America commercial vehicles branded Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Bus and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC serves as the headquarters for operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, and has approximately 1,800 employees throughout the Americas. It is a company of the Daimler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, which does business in 40 countries and has an employee base of approximately 8,800 people worldwide. Daimler Financial Services is one of the leading financial services organizations worldwide and was named one of the 25 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces by the Great Place To Work Institute in 2014. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA was also named one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials by Great Place to Work and Fortune.com in 2015. For more information, please visit www.mbfs.com/corp or facebook.com/mymbfs. For more information about Daimler Truck Financial, log onto www.daimler-truckfinancial.com.
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.
About the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
MDEQ administers Michigan Clean Diesel Grant Program funds, which are authorized by the federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) and released by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
About Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision
Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision is one of Detroit’s longest running environmental non-profit organizations, serving the community for over 25 years. SDEV’s 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.