Community Comes Together to Support Boca Helping Hands

"Grandpa Bear," the 25-year-old delivery truck that needed to be replaced after breaking down last month

When Boca Helping Hands needed a helping hand of their own, the community reached out. 

After the beloved local nonprofit’s 25-year-old food delivery truck, affectionately nicknamed “Grandpa Bear,” broke down last month, the charity organization’s ability to distribute meals to its many clients was crippled. 

When word got out that Boca Helping Hands was without its workhorse truck, the donations started pouring in. In less than a month, more than $150,000 was donated to replace “Grandpa Bear,” coming from all over the county. 

Major contributors to the new truck included The Sun Capital Partners Foundation, Boca West Children’s Foundation, Eric and Loren Stein, Stoops Family Foundation, the Gary Peters Family Foundation and Charles and Robin Deyo.

From left: BHH Board Member Greg Peters, Sun Capital Foundation reps. Jenna Pillsbury and Alexis Racine, BHH Executive Director Greg Hazle, BHH Development Manager Karen Swedenborg, BHH Development Specialist Anna Rubenstein

What’s more, TBC Corporation, the parent company of Tire Kingdom, is donating a Ford E-250 cargo van to Boca Helping Hands’ fleet, which will even further increase the charity’s ability to collect and deliver meals. 

“We are simply astounded and so grateful for the incredible outpouring of support from the community,” said Greg Hazle, Boca Helping Hands Executive Director. “Even a couple of our clients pitched in after seeing our story on TV, giving us what they could to help and wishing they could give more. This new truck will enable us to fulfill and expand our efforts to feed families in need and will serve us well.”

From left: Arthur Adler, Greg Hazle, and Pam Weinroth

The new truck will help to make Boca Helping Hands’ distribution process even more efficient and effective. The truck can hold up to ten pallets of food and is refrigerated, which will allow for perishable items like eggs, milk, and frozen meat to be picked up all in one trip. 

The community-based organization distributes more than 70,000 pantry bags and 55,000 hot meals annually around Palm Beach County, provides food to students in 11 elementary school throughout the county for weekend meals, helps to provide uninsured clients with access to health care at clinics, and assists working families with childcare through the Children’s Assistance Program.