CLEARWATER, Fla. — “Big Blue” helped RCS Pinellas deliver food to thousands of people in need for many years.
But the refrigerated delivery truck, which safely transported meats, produce and more to food pantries, had seen better days.
“We depend on those trucks, so when one breaks down, it’s problematic,” says RCS Pinellas head Kirk Ray Smith. “And Big Blue was puttering!”
This was a bad time for Big Blue to get clunky.
The coronavirus pandemic caused more people to seek help from RCS Pinellas, which normally serves about 130,000 people a year.
Kirk reached out to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, which connects benefactors with charitable groups serving the community.
“The work that nonprofits do is the backbone of the community,” says the foundation’s Wilma Norton.
When the call for a new Big Blue went out, there was immediate buzz. That call was answered by the J.O. and Ruth Stone Foundation, which ironically enough, was built on automotive sales.
RCS was hoping for $10,000.
The Stone Foundation gave them $75,000.
A new Big Blue will be here soon.
“I was truly blow away,” says Kirk. “I can’t wait to get that new truck!”