John Soules Foods, a company known for its chicken and beef products, will now provide people with water.
The Tyler-based company donated a truck valued at $82,500 to The Salvation Army Texas Division - Emergency Disaster Services.
The presentation made Tuesday at the company facility on Farm-to-Market Road 14 included officials from the nonprofit organization and the business.
The Peterbilt diesel truck is customized with a stainless steel tank on the back so it can carry 3,600 gallons of potable water to be used at disaster locations for drinking, cooking and more.
This is the first truck of its kind that the division can call its own. Previously, it has had to contract out the service to other companies or just provide people with bottled water.
Alvin J. Migues, emergency disaster services director with The Salvation Army’s Texas Division, said the truck will increase the organization’s capacity to serve people. Based in Dallas, the truck will be dispatched to other communities and possibly states as needed.
John Soules Sr. said he wanted to contribute because understands what a wonderful job The Salvation Army does with providing for people in the midst of disasters. In addition, his son, John Soules Jr., is on The Salvation Army’s board.
“We just felt like it was a piece of machinery that would help with a lot of different (locations),” he said.
The truck took several months to complete as they wanted to make sure all was right with it before they turned it over to the nonprofit, Soules said.
He said he’s hoping the company’s donation will serve to motivate others to donate. Although a company might not have money to give, it could have equipment available to donate or to convert for different use, as was the case with this truck.