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Truckers wanted: Feeding America West Michigan looking to hire drivers

Mobile food banks saw a 64 percent rise in attendance in 2020. Donors have stepped up to meet that need, but their trucking staff has been stretched thin.

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. — Feeding America West Michigan has a lot of mouths to feed. The organization serves 40 of Michigan's 83 counties, in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. In that service area, the food insecurity rate has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The demand for mobile food pantries is increasing both in urban and rural areas. Feeding America West Michigan has received many donations to help meet the demand. However, there aren't always enough drivers to transport that food. Last year, Feeding America West Michigan says its 12 drivers drove 427,447 miles.

“Without truck drivers, everything stops. We do retail pickups, we do deliveries, we do mobile food pantries. It all takes truck driving staff," said logistics manager Ryan VanMaldegen in a news release.

Feeding America West Michigan is worried that without more drivers, food will sit at the food bank and go bad and end up in landfills instead of Michigan dinner tables.

The food bank is looking to hire drivers with CDL "A" licenses who are willing to spend one to four nights per week in the Upper Peninsula, though they say most of their drivers sleep in their own beds 85 percent of the time. Many of their drivers have come to the food bank from previous careers that required them to drive across the country.

If you'd like to apply, visit Feeding America West Michigan's website.

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