Hospital donates ambulance as food truck to help those in need

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (KDVR) — Recycling is good for the environment. But what do you do with an ambulance that a hospital does not need any more? How about donating it so it can become a food-pantry truck.

A Highlands Ranch hospital is donating an ambulance to a local food bank to help deliver food for people in need.

It was one small snip for man, one giant leap for feeding people in need, as the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital on Wednesday.

And it all started with an ambulance that was about to be retired but still had plenty of life in it. That’s why UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital donated, free of charge, one 1997 Ford E-350 to Help and Hope Center of Douglas County.

“We learned that people were driving 90 miles round-trip because they were dealing with food scarcity, which was counterintuitive to us,” said Susan Manfredi, UCHealth hospitality services manager.

So now, instead of transporting the injured and sick, the former ambulance will be delivering much needed fresh fruit, canned goods, bread and more to people in need in Douglas and Elbert Counties.

“This is really a big deal to us. We’ve been wanting to be able to expand our reach into Elbert County and the more rural areas,” said Dan Marlow, The Help and Hope Center executive director.

Marlow was shocked when UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital called and asked, how would you like a food pantry truck?

“They sent a picture of it, and they said, ‘You know we have this ambulance and we would like to give it to you,’ and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a new idea, but it’s a great one!“ said Marlow.

Still equipped with weather-detecting apparatus and emergency lights, Marlow says this is the coolest food-pantry truck he’s ever had the pleasure to have known.

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