Last Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels of Central MD rolled out new vehicles to better serve seniors and others in-need. As a result of its partnership with Hunt Valley-based Element Fleet Management, the non-profit was able to hit the streets with new vans that featured heating and cooling elements to ensure proper meal delivery and minimized vehicle maintenance costs and downtime.
A year later, it’s clear that the collaboration has paid off: Meals on Wheels has doubled its fleet, saved 8 percent on maintenance and, most important, it serves 1,000 more meals per month to people who need them.
Element Fleet Management worked with an upfitter and selected a split configuration where the front half of the fleet's Ford Econolines are a refrigerated using a Thermo King unit with insulated insert and the rear half has auxiliary power to power cambro ovens, according to Meals on Wheels. The auxiliary power for refrigeration enabled Meals on Wheels to plug the unit in at the dock, so refrigeration would run to cool the unit without having to run the engine. That resulted in a significant fuel savings for the non-profit.
Delivering food is critical year-round, but it’s especially important during the holidays. Meals on Wheels is the only provider of meals to the homebound in the U.S., according to the non-profit.