NEW YORK Penske Truck Leasing and City Harvest have announced the launch of an environmentally friendly, refrigerated truck fleet. City Harvest, the world's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding New York City's hungry men, women and children, is the first Penske customer to commit to operate a fleet of state-of-the-art hybrid trucks.

"Our organization was founded on the notion of using resources wisely," stated Emory Edwards, City Harvest director of food transportation. "The trucks will help us to deliver food in a cost-effective manner to New Yorkers in need," said Edwards.

Penske will provide City Harvest with full-service truck leasing support for the hybrids. By the close of 2009, City Harvest plans to have converted its entire fleet of 16 trucks to full hybrid technology. City Harvest is now operating four International Truck and Engine Corporation 18-foot DuraStar Hybrid trucks to deliver food in New York.

"By using hybrids, they can double their fuel efficiency and reduce emissions by 40 percent. We are seeing increased demand for these vehicles nationwide due to high fuel costs and our customers' environmental improvement initiatives," said Joe Cataudella, Area Vice President – Penske Truck Leasing, for the New York Metro Area.

City Harvest uses its truck fleet to rescue excess food from all segments of the food industry, delivering it free of charge to more than 600 community food programs throughout the five boroughs. This year, the organization will rescue 23 million pounds of food that would otherwise go to waste, feeding more than 260,000 hungry men, women, and children each week.

"When these trucks travel at low speeds, the electric motor kicks in to supply power to the truck resulting in reduced fuel consumption and emissions," added Cataudella.