WEYMOUTH — With the help of several donations, the Weymouth Food Pantry hopes to get the box truck used for its mobile “pop up” pantry fixed in the next two weeks after its catalytic converter was stolen.
Pamela Denholm, executive director of the Weymouth Food Pantry, said the 18-foot truck was parked outside the pantry’s warehouse in Rockland when the converter was stolen earlier this month.
The truck is used almost daily for food pick-up and delivery, and is critical to the operation of the pantry’s mobile distribution model, Denholm said. Unlike many brick and mortar pantries on the South Shore, Weymouth Food Pantry provides groceries to those in need through a series of weekly pop-up events.
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Denholm said the theft left the food pantry scrambling. While a temporary fix kept the truck in operation, Denholm said the permanent repair will cost about $11,000 and won’t be fully covered by insurance.
But then, two companies stepped up to help. Denholm said AAA has pledged $4,000 and the food delivery platform DoorDash offered $5,000, which together will cover the cost of the repair.
“Food pantries exist at the generosity of others and the expression of community spirit,” Denholm said. “Without the truck, we don’t run, so we’re relieved.”
The truck is essential to delivering the mobile services, which help between 250 and 400 families each week.
A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that converts toxic gases and pollutants from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants. An increase in the value of precious metals has made the car parts the target of thieves looking to strip them of rhodium, palladium and platinum, experts say.
DoorDash has also partnered with the Weymouth Food Pantry on Project DASH, meant to help get food to homebound neighbors who may not be able to get to a pantry. Since January, Project DASH has helped deliver 500 meal boxes to homebound Weymouth residents.