Second Harvest

July 07, 2022

Jones Dairy Farm, Fortrans partner to Bring Truckload of Food To Wisconsin

After a nearly 900-mile journey, a 53-foot refrigerated semi-trailer with a precious cargo of donated food from Jones Dairy Farm arrived at the Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin distribution center located outside Madison with equal parts anticipation and appreciation. 

The cargo included 19 pallets of donated food weighing more than 35,000 pounds and included important staples like brown rice, black beans, frozen carrots, garbanzo beans, quinoa and sunflower seeds. Although the ingredients were being phased out of production by a Jones subsidiary business located in Delaware, Jones felt it was important to donate the food locally in Wisconsin.

"Having been part of the southern Wisconsin community for more than 130 years, Jones Dairy Farm has always looked for opportunities to help out our neighbors through monetary support and product donations whenever possible,” said Jones Dairy Farm Marketing Manager Lisa Caras, a 7th generation Jones family member. “Although this truckload of food is particularly noteworthy because of the size, types of ingredients and overwhelming demand right now, we understand the need to help fight food insecurity is ongoing which is why we'll continue to donate food to Second Harvest, and other local food banks, on an ongoing basis.”

As southwestern Wisconsin’s largest hunger-relief charity, Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin meets nearly one million requests for help each year. In the coming weeks the large food donation by Jones will help support approximately 125,000 people in 16 counties throughout southwestern Wisconsin who rely on Second Harvest’s network of partner agencies and programs for food assistance.  

“We are incredibly grateful for this very generous donation,” said Janet Simon, Second Harvest chief strategy and development officer. “Unfortunately, large donations like this are down, and the need is up because of high inflation and other economic factors. This nutritious product will be a welcome addition to the tables of the families we support in southwestern Wisconsin including Fort Atkinson.”

Another Fort Atkinson-based business that played an integral part of this food donation story was Fortrans, Inc., a family owned and operated truckload carrier specializing in temperature controlled freight. Fortrans provided the semi-trailer and coordinated the shipment of the food at no additional cost to Jones or Second Harvest. Factoring in the costs associated with trucking transportation in today’s economy, Fortrans contribution to the project was substantial.  

“The entire team, from our operations manager to the driver, was thrilled to support the food donation and help as many local families as possible,” said Bob Leslie, President, Fortrans. “The spirit of this project brought a good feeling to many throughout our organization.”

Jones Dairy Farm is also an important contributor to the Fort Atkinson Food Pantry. The company has provided the pantry’s operating space, rent free, for the past 30 years, and also donates food items on an ongoing basis.