(January 21, 2001)
The Convoy of Hope World Distribution Center in Springfield, Mo.,
is whirring with activity. A forklift stacks pallets of food near
a loading dock. A horde of volunteers sorts boxes of food in a corner
of the mammoth building. And Dick Evans, director of logistics for
Convoy, checks expiration dates in aisles brimming with canned vegetables,
juices, pastas, beans and other goods.
|Dick Evans, director
of logistics, inspects recently received food at the Convoy of
Hope World Distribution Center in Springfield, Mo.
"The demand for food and supplies in the United States and internationally
is never ending," he explains. "Most of the food we get
is shipped out of here within three weeks after its received.
We dont let it sit here long. Were just trying to help
as many people around the world as we can. Thats why were
always looking for more companies to donate food and supplies."
The Convoy is proactive in building strong relationships with food
companies and conglomerates, says Evans. Already more than 10 large
corporations donate top-quality food to the Convoy on a regular basis.
Other wholesalers, grocers and farmers provide food and supplies throughout
Greg Marquart, executive vice president of operations, is confident
the number of suppliers will continue to escalate. "Companies
see that Convoy does what it says it will do. Were not hoarding
supplies or trying to serve ourselves. Were using our distribution
lines to get food to people in need as quickly and efficiently as
possible. By working with a missionary, local pastor or ministry,
Convoy ensures that the food and supplies get into the hands of people
Steve Ewing, director of procurement, says when companies have quality
food to donate, Convoy has the semi-trucks to transport the goods
to meet needs. "Were always looking for companies who will
donate food and supplies," he says. "What most people dont
realize is that we have the ability to gather and transport food from
anywhere in the United States."
Sometimes the Convoy uses one of its trucks to pick up the food or
a trucking company will transport it. "We have four truck lines
that give us a special transportation rate," says David Evans,
director of transportation. "In some situations the trucking
companies pick it up and transport it for free."
Convoy has distributed more than 15 million pounds of food to hungry
people around the world. Recently, Convoy donated 500,000 pounds of
food to a relief effort in Mozambique. In the United States the Convoy
has provided groceries to nearly 600,000 people at outreaches designed
to empower churches and strengthen communities. Also, food, water
filtration systems and other supplies have been distributed in 28
To respond to the ever-growing needs of the worlds poor and
hungry, Convoy of Hope is seeking more companies to join their fight
against poverty and despair. Those who have food donations or contacts
with suppliers can contact Convoy of Hope at 417-823-8998.
"We have a 300,000-square-foot warehouse that can be used for
gathering and distributing food," says Ewing. "I think God
opened the doors for us to acquire the building because He intends
to fill it with food so we can touch many more people."
To that end, Marquart says the Convoy wants to partner with individuals
and corporations that are willing to make a difference in the world.
"Everyone wins when we work together," he says. "Businesses
get tax breaks, good press and the satisfaction that they are helping
the hungry. At the same time the hungry are being fed."
According to Dick Evans, the Convoy of Hope also welcomes financial
gifts that can be used to purchase food well below market price.
"For those of us who work in Convoys operations department,
our mission is to give out the very best food we can to people who
are hungry," says Ewing. "Thats what Jesus would have