Behind the Scenes - The Impact of a Donated Box Truck

James S. Gavrilos
Boca Helping Hands
January 16, 2017


In 2016, the volunteers of Boca Helping Hands cooked and served 54,721 hot meals and distributed 63,711 bags of groceries.  We tend to focus on the end of the line…when the food is being cooked and plated and served to clients…or the bags are being filled and passed out at the pantry counter.  But have you ever stopped to consider how many “hands” were needed to make these things happen?

Stage 1:  In 2015, Craig A. Smith & Associates donated a used box truck to Boca Helping Hands.   We decided to accept the donation and put some money into refurbishing this truck, with the hope that we could then extend the life of our two refrigerated trucks (Code Names:  Papa Bear and Mama Bear) which were purchased with contributions from Hands on Tzedakah, The Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the Schmidt Family Foundation and the late Countess de Hoernle.  In 2013, the employees of Jarden Consumer Solution pitched in to purchase a new refrigerator unit for Mama Bear.   In case you are wondering, the BHH “fleet” was rounded out with our two cargo vans (Code Names:  Baby Bear and Goldilocks). 

Stage 2:   With a generous grant from the Herbert Bearman Foundation, the latest addition (Code Name: Grandpa) was outfitted with a proper lift gate, given an engine tune up and a fresh paint job…and as the final touch…decorated with the BHH logo.  Our warehouse team has begun using Grandpa for trips to the two food banks or any other food delivery or pick up that doesn’t require a refrigerated truck, thus saving wear and tear on our newer vehicles.

Stage 3:  Mr. Riad Boulos of Matouk, USA is a long time food donor to BHH.  Matouk, USA shares warehouse space with other food distributors in the Miami Lakes area.  Over the years, the warehouse team down in Miami noted the dependability of the BHH drivers and the passion and dedication of our own warehouse staff.  On Friday, January 13, 2017, Mr. Boulos informed us that the warehouse in Miami had contacted him and asked if he thought BHH would be interested in EIGHTEEN PALLETS of snack food items from the Quaker Oats Company.   Grandpa was quickly dispatched to Miami where it was loaded up.  Without Grandpa, we would have had to make three trips down to Miami to load up all that food, or we wouldn’t have been able to accept the donation.  But thanks to the vision and generosity of so many, our warehouse is stuffed to the rafters today with food…food that will find its way into pantry bags and backpacks.  In fact, due to the size of the donation, we were able to share our abundance with other soup kitchens and food pantries in Palm Beach and Broward Counties.   So many hands work to make these miracles happen.

Jason Sheppard (BHH Driver and Warehouse Support) with just two of the EIGHTEEN packed pallets that were donated to us.


Michelle and Gary Musselman of Edible Extras, just one of the many local orgnizations we were able to share our over abundance of food with.  

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