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Thief steals Yolo County Food Bank truck day before Thanksgiving

KCRA Sacramento logo KCRA Sacramento 11/26/2020
a truck that has a sign on the side of a road: Yolo County Food Bank © KCRA 3 Yolo County Food Bank

The Yolo County Food Bank is facing thousands of dollars in damage to one of their trucks after it was stolen the day before Thanksgiving.

Executive Director Michael Bisch said the truck driver stopped at Costco in Woodland to pick up a donation. When the driver walked back outside, a little before 7 a.m., the truck was gone.

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“This could not be more symbolic than the year 2020,” Bisch said.

It wasn’t any truck that was stolen, Bisch said. The missing truck was covered in names of donors who helped raised money to buy it several years ago.

“The names are right there,” Bisch said. “It was Heidi and Renee that launched this capital campaign to raise the funding, $85,000, or so, to purchase this refrigerator truck to feed hungry people.”

Perfect timing and the quick eye of another employee helped turn things around. The truck was spotted about an hour after the heist, a short drive away in a Home Depot parking lot.

“The recovery was actually pretty quick, but you can imagine the 30 minutes or so where we were completely at a loss,” Bisch said.

The thief did about $15,000 worth of damage to the truck, including ripping out the controller for the truck’s refrigeration system.

“I’d rather be using that funding to purchase food to feed people than for repairing unnecessary damage,” Bisch said.

Bisch talked with KCRA 3's Emily Maher about the increased need this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: How has the need for food increased this year?

Bisch: A year ago, we were distributing 350,000 pounds of food per month. Now, it’s upwards of a million pounds of food. That’s a two-and-a-half to three-times increase in the amount of food we’re distributing. It’s just been a massive lift. My staff is just working their tails off every single day.

Q: Are you seeing new families and neighbors coming to the food bank for the first time?

Bisch: They’re coming out of the woodwork. New families, more need, more often. It’s just unimaginable.

Q: What kind of support are you seeing from the community?

Bisch: The residents in the community have been stepping up in a huge way. The businesses have all been stepping up. The local governments have all been stepping up. Our nonprofit partners have all been stepping up. It’s just been this huge lift.

It’s not like the food bank is doing all this work by itself. The food bank is the focal point for the community to gather and help feed hungry people.

Anyone looking to donate or volunteer can visit the Yolo County Food Bank website for more information.

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