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Four Winners Announced in Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge

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Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge awarded grants to nonprofits for customizing Transit van for community needs

Earlier this year, Ford Fund launched the Ford Disaster Relief Mobility Challenge in response to a seemingly perpetually increasing prevalence of devastating natural disasters. This week, four winners were announced, with each receiving a customized Ford Transit van that will enable organizations around the country to meet the needs of their communities at critical moments.

The challenge sought the input of groups from areas in the country most commonly affected by disaster, asking them how they would upfit a Ford Transit to respond in a time of need. The four winners were selected for having the most unique proposals both in terms of how the vans would be used in times of disaster and year-round.

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The winners were announced as: Empact Northwest (Kingston, Washington); Mercy Chefs (Portsmouth, Virginia); Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana; and The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (Kansas City, Missouri). The Transit vans provided to each group will serve special functions that will help them address disasters in 2019 and beyond — Empact Northwest’s van will be able to transport a rescue boat and swift water during a disaster and provide first responder training and education outside of disasters, for example.

“This challenge combines Ford’s strength as a mobility company with the courage and know-how of experienced disaster response professionals, whose modifications will enhance their ability to get critical supplies to where they’re needed most,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Natural disasters show nature at its worst, but thankfully, they bring out the best in our first responders, medical personnel, and even our neighbors who pitch in to help when danger is all around them.”

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