The Chestermere Food Bank is unable to use their van after someone tried to steal the catalytic converter.
After three years of fundraising in the Tim Horton’s Cookie Campaign and receiving a $20,000 grant from the City of Chestermere, the food bank was able to purchase a van for food transportation.
The van was ordered in early November, and it was received on March 11.
“We noticed the vehicle running extremely loud on a trip to Okotoks on March 24 and took it back to the dealership on March 25, so we had it less than two weeks,” Executive Director Mardi Oel said. “For some reason, they couldn’t quite remove the catalytic converter after cutting through the pipe on one end and not getting through the pipe on the other end. So, $5,300 in damage for no reason.”
After the dealership gave the food bank the bad news, it was reported to the local RCMP.
“The only good news is that we did manage to pick up two pallets on the trip to Okotoks. Now our concern is where to park once we get it back,” Oel said.
The food bank was in the process of having decals installed on the van, and they were hopeful that vandals wouldn’t target the food bank. However, now they are looking at different parking and storage options.
“We’re hoping it won’t happen again. Another expense and no guarantee it won’t happen again,” Oel said.
Having the van gives the food bank the ability to transport two full pallets of food and will keep food costs down rather than making multiple trips to secure food shared among other food banks throughout southern Alberta.
“It also gave us the ability to transport food from local food drives in one trip,” Oel said.