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State diesel order slows deliveries to area food banks

Category: Press Coverage  |  Permalink

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Warehouse Manager Steve Johnson, left, and CEO Todd Sieja of the Western Eagle Foundation in Temecula look at a refrigeration unit that would have to be retrofitted to meet state requirements in the nonprofit's trucks that pick up and deliver donated food for the needy.
(Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle - Staff Photographer)

A Temecula nonprofit that supplies packaged and perishable food to food banks, churches and missions in Riverside and San Diego counties is scaling back operations in the wake of a state air quality order to retrofit or sideline its refrigerated trailers by Wednesday.

Western Eagle Foundation expects to slash deliveries by more than half this month because it managed ---- at a cost of $6,000 ---- to retrofit just one trailer by the deadline, Chief Executive Officer Todd Sieja said. The foundation has five 48-foot-long semi-tractor trailers equipped with diesel-powered refrigeration units to keep food cool.

"It's kind of put a crimp in how we go about helping out the needy," Sieja said. "It's just like a punch in the nose."

CEO Todd Sieja of the Western Eagle Foundation in Temecula holds a credit card receipt for retrofitting a truck trailer's refrigeration unit at a cost of $6,000. The state requirement for the retrofit is cutting back on the nonprofit's ability to pick up donated food for the needy.
(Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle - Staff Photographer)

But Sieja, in an interview Wednesday, said the state order won't cripple his business. He said he plans to sell most of the remaining trucks, which have been parked, to raise cash and retrofit another trailer over the next 30 days. He figures he can get about $2,500 for each of the ones he sells.

With two street-legal trailers to pick up food, Sieja said the foundation will be able to fill its warehouse with 80 percent of the food it has provided historically.

Those agencies who are supplied by Western Eagle make their own arrangements to pick up the bulk food from the warehouse. The foundation also uses its refrigerated trailers to deliver 2,000 food boxes packaged for individual families to outlying sites for pickup. read more >>

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Western Eagle Foundation

40940 County Center Dr.
Temecula, CA 92591
Contact Us at (951) 695-7206

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