The theft of a truck belonging to World Harvest Food Bank is threatening Thanksgiving food distribution, and the organization is pleading for the public’s help to find the collection truck stolen over the weekend.
"We have many generous donors calling us for merchandise pick up and without this truck many of the donations will not be picked up," said Nikki Jolee, president and CEO, in a statement released Tuesday.
"Therefore, we will have hundreds of families that we help this time of year go without food."
Founder Glen Curado said someone broke the gate and took the truck between Saturday evening and Monday.
The 28-foot bobtail truck with lift gate was taken from the organization’s lot at 1014 West Venice Boulevard, Jolee said. The white, 2000 International truck is emblazoned with the organization’s logo, their phone number and a plea to "Donate Now!"
It has California license plate #6A85971 and is registered under World Harvest Food Bank. The organization has filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department.
"We've gone as far as Victorville, Yucaipa to pick up," Jolee told NBC4. "Depends what the donations are. We pretty much will pick up anything and everything. We bring it back here."
Since 2007, donated groceries have piled high at the food bank, all being used to aid needy local families.
The non-profit organization delivers food and other living essentials to families across Los Angeles. According to the food bank’s website, the organization delivered more than 35.4 million pounds of food to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and after-school programs between 2008 and 2009.
Some 30,000 households rely on World Harvest.
"These are hardworking families, don't have very much," Curado said. "We try very much to give them as much as we can. With one truck, it's difficult."