ENCINITAS — Every week, “Fred,” the name given to the Community Resource Center’s 2006 delivery truck, performs a number of critical task for the North County agency charged with eliminating homelessness and protecting victims of domestic violence.
Fred helps deliver thousands of pounds of food donated from local stores to the agency’s nutrition center, which feeds more than 450 families a month. During the holiday season, he transports goods to the center’s Holiday Basket event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. And each month, Fred help families in the center’s shelter move into independent housing.
But Fred is on his last leg of life, CRC officials said. And they are asking the public to chip in to replace him.
“Poor Fred has been a workhorse, but he’s seen better days,” said Jerome Williams, CRC’s truck driver.
Williams and CRC officials said the truck has broken down on the road several times in recent months, and the “check engine” light has been on. Every time the truck breaks down, since it lacks a refrigeration unit, perishable items spoil, depriving families of the goods.
Officials estimate that it is cheaper to replace Fred than to keep up with the constant repairs and maintenance.
CRC in June is hosting a donation campaign, “Keep CRC Truckin,’” with the goal of raising $65,000 for a new refrigerated trucking unit to retire Fred.
To date, they have raised $28,000, but they are looking for the public to help with the campaign’s final push.
“The truck is critical to our operations,” CRC spokeswoman Lauren Montague said. “People who depend on the food from the nutrition center, seniors and the homeless, people on fixed incomes, families that are struggling, they all rely on us. And we rely on our truck.”
CRC purchased their current truck, a 2006 model, in 2012. The agency was able to partially offset the cost with a $25,000 grant.
Montague said CRC hasn’t been able to find any similar grant programs this time around, so they are looking for sponsors to help defray the cost.
CRC estimates that it receives more than 540,000 pounds of food each year from North County grocery stores and partners, including Trader Joe’s, Gelson’s, Target, Coastal Roots Farm and other groups.
“So replacing the truck is a pretty urgent need for us,” Montague said.
For more information on the campaign, text “CRC” to 71777 or visit the campaign website at https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/CRC