Public votes Feed ‘Em Soup as winner of new car

By Ryan Felgenhauer

Toyota awarded local charity Feed ‘Em Soup a Toyota Sienna Wednesday.

Toyota will give away 100 cars to 100 nonprofit organizations based on several criteria.

First, Toyota judges chose 500 finalists from the original 3,000 applicants, said Joe Van Wagner, district sales manager for Toyota.

From those 500, the public chose who they thought were most deserving in an online poll.

Van Wagner said the public voted Feed ‘Em Soup into the top 100.

The cars are donated free of charge and come with extended warranties to cover the cost of maintenance.

“It covers oil changes, tire rotations, filter changes and roadside assistance,” said Dean Greco, area sales manager for Toyota Financial Services. “Basically any basic maintenance on the car.”

The charity plans to use the car to make its services more available to the community. It will be used to bring people without cars to events, collect donations for food drives and transport supplies to those events, Brown said.

Feed ‘Em Soup is a local soup kitchen which aims to provide other services for the community as well.

“Hunger is a broad term,” said Randi Kennedy, Feed ‘Em Soup director. “We want to provide more than meals.”

Feed ‘Em Soup holds community meals on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, said Carly Brown, Feed ‘Em Soup volunteer coordinator.