Trucker donates 900-mile drive to bring goods to local food bank
Nov. 23, 2011 at 5:23 a.m.
Updated Nov. 24, 2011 at 5:24 a.m.
Ronnie Callahan's more than 900-mile drive from Tennessee to Texas was more of a religious mission than a work trip.
Callahan, who owns and operates TJC Trucking of Palacios, carried a cargo of more than 32,000 pounds of food bound for hungry families in the Crossroads.
He did not charge for the delivery in his red, refrigerated 1986 Peterbilt 18-wheeler. The trip would normally run about $2,000, Callahan said.
"I'm just doing what the good Lord asks us to do, and that's help each other out," said Callahan, whose company name - TJC Trucking - stands for "Til Jesus Comes."
Callahan said he was inspired by a talk that Earl Hudson, of Martha's Table soup kitchen in Palacios, gave at his church.
"He spoke about how they needed people to get involved, so I gave him a business card and said if he needed anything to give me a call," Callahan said. "It worked out that I was in the right place at the right time."
And that place was Nashville, where Callahan was headed to deliver a load and was then able to pick up the food from the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and haul it back to Texas. He arrived at the local food bank Monday morning.
Dennis Brown, executive director of the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, said the delivery came at an opportune time.
"Our cupboards are practically bare, so we had to purchase this food," Brown said. "We didn't have any food for the holiday boxes, so this really pulled it together for us."
Donations from The Trull Foundation and the O'Connor and Hewitt Foundation helped fund the fuel for the trip and pay for the food.
Part of the load, enough to feed 300 families, will go to Martha's Pantry in Palacios.
"We feed three meals a week at night to the community," said Hudson. "We don't care if it's the hungriest one off the waterfront or the wealthiest one that's 98."
The remaining food will be distributed to area agencies through the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent.
Each family box contains about 16 pounds of food including rice and beans, canned vegetables, macaroni and cheese packets, and cans of beef stew.