Westmoreland food bank seeks donations to replace truck lost in fire
The Westmoreland County Food Bank is hoping donors will help the organization replace a truck that was destroyed by fire last year.
The truck and more than 3,000 pounds of food were lost when its engine caught fire in North Huntingdon last June.
It was one in a fleet of eight food bank vehicles that distributes supplies to 43 food pantries across the county.
“Our trucks are on the road every day,” food bank CEO Jennifer Miller said.
Insurance provided some money, but not enough to cover the cost of a new truck.
The food bank designates money to replace trucks occasionally, but the one that burned was fairly new, Miller said.
“Unfortunately, the one that caught on fire wasn’t up for replacement for a while, so this has been quite a hardship,” she said.
The food bank has been renting a truck when necessary, putting further strain on its finances.
“Needless to say that’s actually causing a lot more expense to our budget than what we originally had planned,” Miller said.
The food bank’s annual budget is $3.6 million.
“We are very frugal when it comes to purchasing capital equipment and things like that,” Miller said.
It has raised about $50,000 toward the purchase of a new vehicle.
“At this point in time we’re nowhere near where we need to be, we still need about $100,000 in order to replace the truck,” Miller said.
Summer is a notoriously slow time for donations of both money and food, she said.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .