DANBURY, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – A Connecticut man who goes by the nickname “Man in a Van” helps about 500 families in need get access to healthy produce every week.
But as CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, he needs some help.
“I’m just always hoping it’s all going to fit,” Mike Greene said, adding too much food is something he’s thankful for.
The Danbury man collects donated food from grocery stores across Western Connecticut five days a week. He packs it all into his refrigerated van and drops it off at a different food pantry each day.
“Costs three cents a pound to rescue all this food,” Greene said.
The retiree drive about 320 miles a week – all as a volunteer – working so hard to serve the less fortunate and getting his nickname along the way.
“When I give the food to the pantries and I see the people waiting in the line to receive this food, I see it’s definitely worth it,” he said.
The donated food is either close to expiring or the stores bought too much and it would go to waste. So they started up a partnership with the Danbury Food Collaborative, which the local United Way oversees.
“The food is great, fresh food that really helps families in need,” Community Impact Coordinator Caroline Lafleur said.
Greene has transported nearly 140,000 pounds of food since he started driving four months ago. The Jericho Partnership Pantry in Danbury gets a delivery once a week.
“Before Michael came in the picture, we really didn’t get any produce,” Coordinator Vicky Breece said, adding that because of Greene’s efforts, they can help more people. “We have increased at least 10 to 20 percent.”
But now, Greene needs help. He just can’t deliver all the donations in time before the food goes bad.
Through a GoFundMe page, the United Way is looking to raise $7,000 to help pay a part-time worker, so that what Greene started can continue.
The new employee just better work as hard as the Man in a Van.