Trucking Company Hauls for Food Bank
Company owner Henry Niles reluctantly agreed to tell his story, but only to help the food bank.
"If anything I say would cause someone to say, 'Hey, let's take a look at this again,'" Niles said. "Then, it's worth it. I really don't need the publicity. It's almost embarrassing when she's starts talking about it. We, by far, don't do it all."
Director Peggy Kirkpatrick said she is grateful to Callaway Carriers.
"When you stop and think that the Central Missouri Food Bank is the only one in the state and one of only five in the entire country that gives its food away for free, all of it away for free, we can't do that if there aren't literally thousands and thousands and thousands of 'Henrys' out there."
Callaway Carriers has hauled food to the bank for the past 13 years, after Kirkpatrick spoke to the Fulton Rotary Club in 1993 about challenges the food bank faced because of record flooding.
"After I had given my speech, Henry turned to me and said, 'That was very touching,'" Kirkpatrick recalled. "He gave me his business card and said, "If you ever need some long-distance trucking, give me a call.' We turned to Henry and said, 'Help!' For us, the flood of 1993 has never ended as far as the food bank's concerned."
Callaway Carriers hauls an average of 20 truckloads of food per month to mid-Missouri.
"The tonnage is huge," Niles explained, "but the need is there."
Kirkpatrick added, "There have been so many times over the last 10 years that, had they not been there to go get the food from the far reaches of the country, we wouldn't have had the food to give to our agencies."
She called Niles one of her quiet heroes.
"There's some times that he's hauled a load from, say, North Carolina, and charged us 50 cents a mile. That doesn't even cover the gas."
Niles shrugs off praise for his work with the food bank, saying, "What they do is important."
The food bank has an annual budget of $2 million; $600,000 of that pays for bringing food to mid-Missouri.