‘Carry the load’: Toyota donates reach truck to Jackson County charity

The lights dim in a small theater. Dramatic music begins to swell. A wall rises slowly to reveal … a forklift.

That was the scene Friday, as Toyota Material Handling presented Community Provisions of Jackson County, Inc with the donation of a reach truck. Their battery partner, EnerSys, is chipping in with a battery and charging unit, and Toyota’s local dealer, ProLift, will support the service and training, said Justin Albers, corporation communications and public relations specialist at Toyota.

Toyota Material Handling President and CEO Jeff Rufener was present at the donation event, as were other representatives from Toyota, the other two companies and Community Provisions.

“We certainly appreciate the work that you’re doing,” said brand ambassador Tom Lego as he presented the reach truck. “So this is a way that, in essence, we believe that we can help people carry the load.”

Community Provisions is a faith-based food pantry with no ties to national organizations, Director Chuck Seybold said.

“We operate strictly on donations from the local community — from the county,” he said. “This is a full Jackson County service that we offer here. It’s not just Seymour.”

The food pantry is open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays. The rest of the week is spent on tasks such as stocking and delivering items into the building, Seybold said. He appreciates Toyota’s donation, as his old forklift stopped working last year and he’s been borrowing one from a nearby Ace Hardware.

“Provisions of Jackson County reached out to us to ask if we would be interested in helping them with their mission of providing assistance to folks in Jackson County, and we were able to help out in this way,” said Alber in regards to the reach truck.

Lego emphasized in his presentation that Toyota places a high value on “shared prosperity” and community outreach.

“We’re not here just to build forklifts,” he said. “We’re not here to just make a paycheck. But we have defined that out of this organization and out of what we’re able to do that we can share. And one of the things that Jeff has helped us understand here as an organization is that we have a footprint and a way across the country — that as an organization, we can find our way of giving back to the community.”

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Community Provisions of Jackson County, Inc is a faith-based food pantry offering service to all of Jackson County.

It is located at 107 W. Bruce St. in Seymour and open on Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. At present, five families are allowed in at a time. Masks are not required.

The pantry may be contacted at 812-522-7079 and will respond to voicemails.

“Folks who are in need of groceries, we never — and I mean never — turn anyone away who’s needing groceries," said Seybold. "And we’ll get them delivered to them, whatever it takes. So that’s kind of a little extra service that we provide.”

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To learn more about Toyota Material Handling in Columbus, visit toyotaforklift.com/.

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To view more photos, go to therepublic.com.