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Meet two MFB Bloomington-Normal volunteer truckers

As with all MFB volunteers, truckers are crucial to our mission. Donated and rescued food often means arranging transportation. Even local trips to grocery stores add up in milage. For National Truckers Week in September, MFB highlighted a number of our volunteer truckers. 

As we continue to share volunteer truck driver stories. two more logged a significant number of driving hours for MFB Bloomington-Normal in the fourth quarter of 2021. Mark Heimann drove over 70 hours, mostly day trips within hours of the warehouse. Roger Kennell drove an incredible 230 hours during the same time, including many long-haul trips. We thought you might like to get to know them.

Mark Heimann

How did you start driving for MFB?

My Pastor, Mike Baker, always mentions serving others in some way. I asked a friend if MFB needed help, and the next thing I knew, I was driving for grocery runs. A year later, I was driving semi loads for Jeni (Hanson, MFB Bloomington-Normal's Operations Manager).

How does your career compare to driving for MFB?

My wife, Vicki, and I own a construction company and a roofing company. Driving for MFB is a nice change of pace and allows me to give back to the community. 

What was your most memorable MFB trip?

Going to New Orleans last fall after Hurricane Ida was memorable. A church pastor met me in the parking lot and was overwhelmed with what MFB could provide in water and food for their community. Even amid devastation, people were so grateful.

What would you say to someone thinking about using their CDL to drive for MFB?

If you have a CDL, give it a try! It's such a great cause. This is a small piece of the puzzle, but each piece is important. You won't forget the feeling of helping people.

Short hauls or long? Which do you prefer?

Both short and long runs are fun. The long ones are more challenging, but I enjoy them. MFB provides great trucks, everyone is helpful, and they try to keep schedules on time.

How does driving for MFB fit into your everyday work/family life?

Good things don't always come easy. I can usually make it all work out with my schedule. Volunteering for MFB is important to me, and the small sacrifices I make are nothing compared to the benefits I gain.

Roger Kennell

How did you start driving for MFB? 

I talked with Dick Whitney and Lloyd Overcash, who does local pickup for MFB Peoria. Both were very positive about their experiences. I was experiencing cabin fever last Feb. and decided it was time to put the CDL I kept through my working life to use. After a couple of mentoring trips, I went on my way. Fellow drivers, and Mike and Jeni have been very helpful in giving advice and direction.

How does your career compare to driving for MFB?

I have been a farmer and pilot for most of my working career. In 2005, I switched from full-time farming, part-time flying to full-time corporate flying for RLI and continued to farm on the side. Nothing compares to flying; however, driving comes in as a strong second.

What was your most memorable MFB trip?

The South Dakota trips to Wanble on the Pine Ridge reservation were the most memorable. The people at Wanble were very gracious and hospitable. In the short time we had together, we shared meals and conversations that gently educated me on some of the issues Native Americans face.

What would you say to someone thinking about using their CDL to drive for MFB?

Go for it! It is an opportunity to meet and work with amazing people, see amazing scenery, and receive unexpected blessings. As most drivers know, there are challenges, but they make a trip interesting.

What are your thoughts on the overnight trips you made in Q4? 

For me, overnights are a bit like camping. I usually take my food and have developed a routine that works for me. It is challenging at times to find places and parking but that makes it interesting and an adventure.

How does driving for MFB fit into your everyday work/family life?

Being retired helps. I usually try to take one or two trips a week and have been able to adjust my schedule accordingly. My schedule is flexible, and it helps me focus on tasks I have at home. Also, MFB has been very flexible and accommodating in the trips. It helps to have a large pool of drivers.

Thank you to these two "Important pieces" in the beautiful MFB Bloomington-Normal volunteering puzzle. Contact Donna Haas (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to see what piece you have to contribute.

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