Seattle car dealership brings peace of mind to Edmonds charity

Mar 20, 2014

Annie's Community Kitchen ( serves a free meal at Edmonds Lutheran Church from 5-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday.

The program receives its supplies and foodstuffs from a team of gleaners that collects nearly 3,000 pounds of food every week.

The food is collected by volunteers, used for the community meal, and the rest is distributed to other local food banks and feeding programs.

Edmonds Lutheran's gleaners have a van that goes out seven days a week to collect these food donations.

Bob Snyder, the gleaner's team leader, received a surprising call last week from Lexus of Seattle: "We understand that van of yours needs a little work. Why don't you bring it down and we'll advise you."

So Snyder did.

The next day he returned to receive a laundry list of items that were in dire need of repair. From brakes to fluid changes, to timing belts and serpentine belts, the list went on.

Gratefully, Snyder declined the offer, admitting, "We simply cannot afford this."

Brad Castonguay, General Manager of Lexus, wouldn’t hear it. "Well, we simply cannot afford to have that van breaking down,” he said. “Come back tomorrow and we'll have everything taken care of, on the house."

Working on faith and a shoestring budget, Snyder and his gleaners were speechless.

"Every morning before I would fire up the van, I would say a little prayer that it would start,” Snyder said.

“So many people are counting on us, and if the van breaks down, our program comes to a halt. I don't know if we can every express the gratitude we feel to Brad and his team at Lexus, we feel like we are driving a new van now."

Castonguay explained, "When I met Bob, he told me about all the businesses who donate food to Annie's kitchen.

“When Bob told me he totally depends on one van to pick up food donations, I offered to have our service department recondition the van. I appreciate him giving us the opportunity to help."

"The feeding programs and food distribution programs at Edmonds Lutheran Church are solid expressions of the Gospel," said Rev. Dr. Julie Josund, Pastor of Edmonds Lutheran Church.

"While we are looking out for the needs of our neighbors, wonderful businesses like Lexus are looking out for us, and that's what makes this community so great."

Annie's Community Kitchen welcomes everyone. They serve a free hot and delicious meal from 5-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday at Edmonds Lutheran Church, 23525 84th Ave W, Edmonds.

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