Goodwill mixed with corporate might, physical strength and a dash of laughter are a powerful combination. This is especially true when it sheds light on the important work surrounding food rescue and hunger relief.
Such was the case at Second Harvest’s second annual Hero Truck Pull challenge.
This year, the event shifted from a Second Harvest-only fundraiser to a multi-team effort. This meant that other Toronto-area not-for-profits had the opportunity to raise funds in the friendly challenge. Our “competitors” included Feed it Forward, Daily Bread Food Bank, Kitchen24 and Burlington’s Food for Life.
For the race aspect, each corporate team had to pull a 20,000-pound truck 100 feet in the fastest possible time. The Hero Truck Pull was beyond a success, raising a collective $15,000—while putting smiles on everyone’s faces.
“We all pulled together to make sure that we get good food to people,” said Lori Nikkel, CEO Second Harvest. “We have way more work to do and this was a great way to fundraise and pull together.”
Second Harvest’s Hero Truck Pull unites a community in a time of need
According to Daily Bread’s CEO Neil Hetherington, the all-important aspect of “razzing” each other made the event a fun-for-all experience. “First, I should mention that Daily Bread are the champions,” Hetherington joked.
“What was so great about it was that we had five different groups who have all been pouring their hearts into ensuring that the right for food for everyone is realized,” he said. “We had a chance to let our hair down, have a few hours of fun together and raise some funds.”
Between the truck pull heats and verbal jousting, the groups put heads together to speak about more serious issues. For example, they talked about common successes and challenges in donating surplus food, such as logistics and transportation.
“I’m deeply grateful for Lori’s leadership and that she stood up and said that we need to do something like this,” he said before closing with, “have I mentioned that we won?”
COVID precautions led to the Hero Truck Pull being a competitors-only event. There was also six-foot distancing between teammates on the pulling chains. Despite this, the reception was very positive, according to Kris-John Kucharik, Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Manager at Second Harvest and participant in the truck pull. “Team spirit and energy level were really high, even with no public audience. The actual truck pull goes by pretty quickly… it may look easy, but your body does feel it.”
Each team had two attempts at the timed run, with Daily Bread Food Bank coming up with the only sub-15-seconds time (at 14.94 seconds). With a fair amount of competitive banter between the teams, along with endless smiles and occasional posturing, the truck pull event proved to be a bright light for a great cause.