The Community Resource Center is seeking the public's help in raising $65,000 for a new refrigerated delivery truck.
The Encinitas-based nonprofit and food pantry has been using its current, non-refrigerated truck for almost a decade to collect 45,000 pounds of food every month for needy families from 10 local grocery stores. Staff members have said the group could use a new vehicle, as their current one often breaks down.
"We're kind of in this pickle where we're hauling so much food yet the trucks are unreliable," said Yanira Frias, the CRC's food and nutrition program manager.
In addition to the food collection, the CRC also uses its vehicle in other situations, like to help domestic violence shelter residents move into independent housing.
The current truck also lacks refrigeration, which promotes a lower shelf life and more waste, Frias said. Currently, the CRC must make two hauls every day to cater to the items that need to be refrigerated.
"Most of the product that we're getting is frozen meat, dairy, deli and eggs," Frias said. "Those items need to come back right away so we can refrigerate them as soon as possible. We really want to be able to distribute any food that we get without having to toss it."
She added that every month, more than 400 households — consisting of struggling families, the homeless, domestic violence victims, seniors and children — depend on CRC's Food and Nutrition Center for healthy options.
Lauren Montague, the CRC's development and marketing manager, said the nonprofit's goal is to raise $65,000 for the new truck over the next several months. The money raised will help cover initial costs for the truck, as well as maintenance, gas and other expenses, she said.
"We're trying to think ahead so we're not stuck with a truck and in a similar situation," Montague said.
Those interested in donating to the CRC can text 71777 to donate. Businesses can also become truck sponsors.