An Ottawa food bank says it has had to delay deliveries after someone slashed the tires on its "reverse food truck."
Parkdale Food Centre staff discovered the vandalism at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, said Karen Secord, the non-profit organization's president.
The truck gathers food and personal hygiene items, then delivers them to clients every Tuesday and Thursday in its service area just west of Ottawa's downtown core.
The van delivers mostly to seniors and people who are disabled so they don't have to come to the centre's location on Rosemount Avenue, Secord said.
"[On Tuesday] I spent quite a bit of time on the phone telling people, 'If you can make it until Thursday, we will have the van ready.'"
Volunteers resorted to using their own vehicles to make deliveries for those who didn't have enough food on Tuesday, she added.
Donations cover cost
Within minutes of posting about the vandalized van on Facebook, Secord said one woman had already contacted the centre, offering to donate up to $1,000.
The van was towed to Frisby Tire on Somerset Street West Tuesday, and was back on the road around noon Wednesday. After a donation from Frisby, the cost of the repair came out to $650.
"The van was even washed for us," Secord said.
Smaller individual donations have also been made through the centre's website.
"It looks like we have the costs probably covered," Secord said, adding that the community response was "overwhelming."
"The response from people was really great, because I think people know that we give out a lot of fresh food, a lot of fruits and vegetables."
Vandalism nothing new
This is not the first time the Parkdale Food Centre has experienced vehicular vandalism, although it is the first time their delivery van was targeted.
Last fall, Secord's personal vehicle had its tires slashed after she had to ask someone to leave who had been breaching the centre's rules of conduct.
She said she's not sure why the van was vandalized in a similar fashion.
The centre has filed a report with Ottawa police.