The Community Resource Center in Encinitas, which helps feed more than 400 needy families every month in the North County, is holding a fundraiser to replace its old delivery truck affectionately known as “Fred.”
Fred is a 2006 model box truck the center acquired in 2012. The truck got the nickname from the character in the cartoon series “The Flintstones.” But recently, Fred has run into its share of mechanical problems which has cost the center a significant amount of money in repairs.
“We’re at risk now. He’s broken down a few times. So it’s time to get a new one,” said Rebecca Palmer, Chief Program Officer at the center.
Fred has 125,825 miles on its engine and averages about 1,200 stop-and-go miles a month, and the service engine light never goes off, according to driver Jerome Williams.
“Fred is a workaholic, he never lets us down, but he needs a vacation or retirement,” said Williams.
The delivery truck is critical to the Community Resource Center’s operations. Every day, donated perishable items are picked up and brought to the center’s pantry on Second Avenue. Typically, within hours of pick up, the items which include lettuce, fruit and produce, are picked up by families in need.
According to the center’s website, last year it distributed over 540,000 thousand pounds of food to more than 1,400 households.
As part of the fundraising effort, the center is offering sponsorships that will allow donors to display a name or logo on the side of the new truck, which travels daily from Del Mar to Carlsbad to San Marcos.
The goal is to raise $65,000 to help purchase a new refrigerated truck. In less than a month, more than $26,000 has been raised.
“What we’re picking up is vulnerable and perishable, and so by having refrigeration, it would improve our efficiency,” said Palmer.
And though it’s definitely time to replace Fred, driver Williams says he’ll miss the truck he’s driven for the last nine months.
“We’ve developed a partnership and I’ll miss him. I’ll miss my friend, but I got a selfie so I’m good,” said Williams with a laugh.
More information on the fundraising effort to buy a new truck can be found here.