food insecurity

Charity's Food Delivery Truck Damaged by Vandals Weeks Before Thanksgiving

The United Way of Greater New Bedford is working to figure out how to get food to those in need after vandals damaged its delivery vehicle

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A Massachusetts charity is trying to make sure it can get food to those in need after its truck was vandalized.

The United Way of Greater New Bedford is working to figure out how to continue its mission after workers found the windows of the vehicle smashed and tools missing Tuesday.

"Our team showed up at the truck lot and quickly realized something was not right," said Victoria Grasela of the United Way of Greater New Bedford. "When we dug a little further, opened the doors up, and checked out the cab of the truck, there had been more things that had been taken apart."

She added that the cover had been taken off the fuse box.

Grasela says the truck is part of the organization's Hunger Commission, which delivers food to different food pantries. She says the timing couldn't be any worse as the organization is gearing up to collect 20,000 pounds of food, which will be packaged into 1,000 meals for local families for the Thanksgiving holiday.

"We know from the pandemic people are struggling, and they're still struggling," she said. "To not be able to get out and get these folks the food they need … it's really heartbreaking that we aren't able to do what we want to do."

She says they found parts scattered around the truck, and it's not clear where they came from, so they don't feel comfortable having anyone drive it until it has been fully assessed.

The charity does not know how long it will take to make the needed repairs.

"Right now, what it means is that we're kind of stuck at a very bad time," Grasela said.

The organization is now looking for help from a business willing to loan it a truck so it can continue its work.

"If anyone is out there and willing and able to partner with us to get this food moving and out to the folks who need it, collecting, what we need to be doing, we would be so grateful," said Grasela.

If you would like to help, you can contact the United Way of Greater New Bedford at 508-994-9625.

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