Jun 04, 2023

Toyota Material Handling donates forklift

Photo provided Toyota Material Handling and TMNA Donate Custom-Built Electric Forklift to Phoenix-Based Food Bank.

Toyota Material Handling (TMH) and Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) worked together to assist Mom’s Pantry in Phoenix with the donation of a new, custom-built electric forklift.

The equipment is critical to the day-to-day operations of Mom’s Pantry, a nonprofit food bank that distributes essential food and household items to low-income adults and families in the area.

“The holiday season is all about coming together and giving back. With Toyota’s own Parts Distribution Center located in Phoenix, it is especially important that we support our surrounding communities,” said Tellis Bethel, group vice president, chief social innovation officer, TMNA. “We were thrilled to work with TMH on this joint forklift donation to Mom’s Pantry, given the often overlooked and substantial operational costs and equipment that such philanthropic organizations need.”

Mom’s Pantry operates a weekly food distribution, serving more than 350 individuals and families and is consistently receiving and unloading pallets of essential items into their 7,000 square foot warehouse. The organization had been operating with the use of the same Toyota forklift since opening their doors in 2013 and was in desperate need of new equipment.

TMH and TMNA partnered to provide Mom’s Pantry with a new electric walkie stacker that includes optional adjustable baselegs to accommodate various pallet sizes and aisle widths. Walkie stacker forklifts, or pallet stackers, are great for lifting pallets in warehouse applications. A walkie forklift or walk-behind pallet truck is oftentimes used for transporting products over short distances and lifting pallets where a traditional forklift isn’t necessary. The machine was also customized by TMH to ensure its height was adequate to clear the food bank facility’s loading entry.

TMH’s local dealership – Toyotalift of Arizona – visited Mom’s Pantry to ensure their older model would remain functional until the new unit was delivered. To power the walkie stacker, Enersys generously donated a new battery and charger for the unit.

“Toyota’s founding principle, the reason we exist, is to contribute to society. We can never lose sight of our core purpose. Our forklift interpretation of that core purpose is ‘Helping People Carry the Load’,” said TMH President and CEO Bill Finerty. “We were honored to partner with a fellow Toyota company to support such an outstanding cause, and look forward to partnering on more philanthropic opportunities in the future. I’d like to thank our local dealership in Arizona for their support in making this happen.”

The electric pallet stacker was delivered to Mom’s Pantry earlier this month and formally unveiled during the food bank’s annual pre-Thanksgiving distribution on Nov. 19. Families picking up their weekly groceries also received a turkey and ingredients for traditional side dishes to supplement a complete Thanksgiving meal.

“We are blessed that many organizations provide us with food in bulk, but that food doesn’t move itself,” said Pamela Trudeau, executive director at Mom’s Pantry. “We were desperate to replace our tired, old forklift and this gift from Toyota Material Handling and Toyota Motor North America allows us to free up thousands of dollars to acquire food and household items for the individuals, families and homeless we serve.”

Last year, Mom’s Pantry distributed over 430,000 pounds of food, helping to feed more than 40,000 people experiencing food insecurity and homelessness. Mom’s Pantry has already served more people in 2022 than all of 2021 and is projected to exceed the number of people fed in 2020 by the end of November. In addition to groceries, the organization also assists with providing hygiene products, cleaning products, diapers and pet food. Mom’s Pantry relies on food and supply donations from the community and welcomes volunteer support and requests to host food drives all year long.