During the Truckload Carriers Association' annual officer planning meeting this week, leaders packaged and shrink-wrapped hundreds of boxes of food for home-bound seniors and other needy residents of Detroit
. The food boxes were delivered through Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based civil and human rights organization.

The organization uses scores of volunteers to pack and deliver boxes of nutritionally-balanced food to the nearly 10,000 low-income senior citizens who have no transportation or are otherwise unable to pick up food from Focus: HOPE's food centers. TCA Chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express, came up with the idea, as he grew up in Detroit and was familiar with the organization's efforts.

Once Burch learned of the need for so many volunteers in the city that the TCA leaders would be visiting, he suggested that they volunteer for the food packaging program.

"I could think of no better team-building exercise than working together for the good of the community in these tough economic times," said Burch.

While at the Focus: HOPE facility, TCA's group assembled boxes and stuffed each one full of items such as vegetables, pasta, beans and juice. Then they loaded the boxes onto pallets and shrink-wrapped them.

"We started out this morning at 7:30 a.m. with a full day of intense meetings, yet here we are at 2 p.m. loading hundreds of boxes of food in downtown Detroit," said Burch. "Sure, we could have been doing something else, but we wanted to send a message to our fellow trucking executives that united, we can make a difference."