The Surrey Food Bank says it’s looking at a bill of more than $2,500 after thieves cut through their fence and ripped a catalytic converter out of one of their two delivery trucks.
“A lot of us said a few choice words this morning,” said the charity’s executive director Feezah Jaffer. “This is far-reaching. It’s not just, tow the truck and get it fixed. We have people we support in our community and it’s not a good thing to have to call people and say you’re going to have to wait until after the long weekend for food.”
With one truck down, they were prepared to delay some deliveries to clients who can’t make it to the food bank – until Surrey RCMP offered to help.
“The RCMP has offered to help deliver hampers to our clients on Thursday and Friday to help us get food to those families,” Jaffer posted on the Now-Leader’s Facebook page late Wednesday afternoon.
Surrey Food Bank operates its Hamper to Your Home program for clients who can’t get there in person. The program was set up to deliver to those with mobility issues.
“It’s very disheartening,” said Jaffer. “These are people who are in desperate need.”
Jaffer said she discovered the theft when she arrived at work Wednesday morning.
“Our crew opened the gates and we noticed there was, on the north side, a hole in the fence that had been cut,” she said. “There were footprints in the snow near our Chevy van that we use for home deliveries. We noticed the catalytic converter has been taken.”
After getting the truck towed to a shop, Jaffer said they received an estimate of upwards of $2,500 to $3,000 to fix it.
“They cut the wiring and everything, so it’s not just replacing the catalytic converter,” she noted.
While Jaffer said people have cut through their fence before, damaging vehicles and stealing metal, she said this is the first time they’ve taken a significant hit.
At this point, the food bank doesn’t know when they’re getting the van back.
“We’re using the one van that’s left,” she said Wednesday afternoon.
In 2018, just weeks before Christmas, a catalytic converter was stolen from the White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank delivery truck parked at 2343 156th St.
With a file from Aaron Hinks