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Brand new wheels for home-delivered meals

SCV Senior Center cuts costs with new fleet program

Posted: July 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.

The SCV Senior Center recently began updating its home-delivered meals fleet, with the addition of three Nissan Cubes. The center is selling off its older, less-efficient vehicles, and plans to have a fleet of 10 Cubes by the end of the year.

 

The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center’s home-delivered meals fleet is getting a fuel-efficient shot in the arm this year as the organization phases out its aging, less-efficient vehicles.

After a year of exploring various options with the SCV Committee on Aging board and a team from Enterprise Fleet Management, Executive Director Rachelle Dardeau is replacing the existing home-delivered meals fleet with a fuel-efficient team of 2013 Nissan Cubes.

The Cubes will be phased in as the current vehicles are retired or sold over the next year, with three initial Cubes and a planned 10 by the end of the year.

Based on an average of 10,000 miles per year per vehicle, the SCV Senior Center expects to reduce its annual carbon footprint by 50 percent.

The Senior Center provides more than 80,000 home-delivered meals each year, delivered by a volunteer team of 50-plus drivers and supported by city and county funding. Some of the current vehicles are more than a decade old and in need of frequent repairs.

The new fleet of Nissans will significantly reduce fuel consumption, repairs and maintenance costs.

“Lowering our operating expenses gives us the opportunity to continue to provide this much-needed service to our community in an efficient and cost-effective manner,” Dardeau said.

The new fleet of Cubes will be outfitted with removable temperature maintenance compartments, meaning once meals are delivered, the vehicles can also serve transport duty for Senior Center clients if needed.

To help businesses with medium-size fleets better manage vehicle emissions, in 2008 Enterprise Fleet Management introduced an aggressive set of programs and initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of clients’ vehicles. For example, customers can opt into a program to offset the impact of their fleets’ greenhouse gas emissions.

Enterprise’s charitable foundation will match a portion of each customer’s greenhouse gas offset purchase, up to a total match of $1 million. Based on customer data collected in 2008, Enterprise offset an average of 15,000 pounds of CO2 per vehicle from participating customers.

“Our thanks to the team at Enterprise for helping us develop a fleet plan that best serves the SCV Senior Center,” Dardeau said. “These new vehicles will help us serve the community in a way that is efficient, cost-sensitive and more environmentally friendly.”

The Senior Center will be conducting a Used Auto Fair on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 22900 Market Street in Santa Clarita. For more information, contact Robert Galarza, director of transportation, at (661) 259-9444.

There are also opportunities for local businesses to sponsor a home-delivered meal vehicle, and the SCV Senior Center is always in need of volunteer meal delivery drivers.

For more information, please contact the SCV Senior Center at (661) 259-9444 or online at www.scv-seniorcenter.org.

 

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