Imagine it’s a hot summer day in Vail. You’re in the middle of your weekly volunteer grocery rescue run for the Vail Food Bank when, whammo, the engine fails on the Resources 2004 Ford Econoline van you’re driving. Even though the vehicle has been well maintained over the years, that scenario lurks in the minds of food bank volunteer drivers and staff, and it’s a frightening one when you consider how many people depend on the ReSources van. Our clients may not realize it, but they depend on it to pick up donated food six days a week from many local grocery stores—perishables that include frozen meats, produce, and deli and bakery items necessary to keep their families fed from week to week. The current van in use has been a workhorse but it’s living on borrowed time, and the fact that it cannot keep rescued food at safe temperatures without the use of large coolers makes grocery rescue slow and cumbersome.
To the rescue have come the members of the Tucson Arizona south stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, led by President Sid Henderson. Church members have generously gifted ReSources with $50,000 which, added to a $10,000 gift from the Kroger Foundation, gives ReSources $60,000 toward the purchase of a refrigerated vehicle! We can’t thank these donors enough for their charitable gifts and for providing the momentum toward our goal. The ball is rolling, but we need the business community to pitch in with donations to make this purchase a reality early next year. Others may be able to help through donations, including Qualified Charitable Distribution (QDC) tax free donations from IRA accounts.
A large, refrigerated vehicle not only will make daily grocery rescue operations safer and more efficient, but it also could be used periodically as a mobile food bank. Not everybody has reliable transportation or can visit the food bank “between the tracks” during regular food distribution hours. A refrigerated mobile vehicle would be a huge asset in serving current clients in greatest need and in providing food access to new clients.
This is an exigent need. Without a suitable vehicle to rescue groceries, our food bank’s inventory of fresh nutrition will be slashed to a fraction of current levels. Please help Resources continue its service, without interruption, to your neighbors by donating toward a new refrigerated service vehicle. Go to: www.resourcesvail.org and specify that your gift is intended for this purpose. Vail is a special community, and we know that with your support we can make this wish a reality in 2024.
By Susan Summers