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More than just a new truck for Boca Helping Hands

Boca Helping Hands’ 24-foot truck has a lot going for it. It’s brand new. Refrigerated. And already on the move.

“We took ownership two weeks ago and used it several times,” director of food and warehouse operations Bill Harper said at the official ribbon cutting Tuesday.

Once their old workhorse truck died, Helping Hands asked for help. But they never expected $150,000 would pour in and so quickly. “We had 94 donors,” marveled executive director Greg Hazle. The generosity “reinvigorated us,” he added.

Now they’re back in action. Able to make perishable food pickups at Feeding South Florida. Deliver backpacks of food to 11 elementary schools. Distribute pantry bags in West Boca and Boynton Beach.

They’re gearing up for the Thanksgiving Box Brigade. An anonymous donor gave them enough to buy all 2,000 turkeys, Hazle said. People can donate the cost of a box online.

Major truck donors names’ are painted on the vehicle for posterity, and their people were there Tuesday afternoon. Sun Capital Partners Foundation. Boca West Children’s Foundation. Eric and Loren Stein. “That surprised me,” said Eric Stein.

Other major donors are Gary Peters Family Foundation. Peters is board president. Charles and Robin Deyo. Stoops Family. Even the truck dealership Kenworth of South Florida kicked in $1,000.

“This is almost as big as my RV!” said board member Gary Hildebrand.

See our ribbon cutting video here.

By Marci Shatzman

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