The Apache Junction Food Bank helps feed the community every day.
Now they are in need of the community's help. Their refrigerated truck broke down Tuesday in the middle of a grocery store run for donations.
The drive shaft just fell off.
Their operations manager Jim Jones said repairs are estimated at $3,500, which the non-profit did not budget for and cannot afford.
If the Apache Junction food bank is a body their refrigerator truck is a vital organ.
"Because we pick up frozen food, we pick up frozen meat, dairy products they need to be refrigerated in the travel from the store to the food bank," Jones said.
Now the vital truck is in for surgery, but the repair costs are too expensive for the food bank, which budgets for all but $1,300 every year and has already had more than $2,000 in truck repairs this year.
"It hurts, it’s a fight to come back from," Jones said.
Thousands are counting on the food bank to get up off the mat.
"On a daily basis we are serving 80 to 90 families," said Georga Humphries, who is on the food bank's board.
Last year alone they served 11,752 children in 35 zip codes.
"I know many a family that has needed that, relied on that and it’s helped them out many times," said Adam, who lives in Apache Junction.
Fortunately, the food bank received a loaner truck from United Food Bank.
Already though, Apache Junction has lost out on valuable donations because they had to use a normal U-Haul.
"We just couldn’t go out there with the U-Haul because of the extra fees it cost us per mile," Jones said. "It will affect what we give out to the people. Hopefully we will make up for it in the long run."
The food bank may also need to replace the 2007 truck altogether. It has more than 220,000 miles and the brakes gave out in September leading to more unexpected repairs.
"It’s something that we have been talking about replacing."
Right now the employees and volunteers are just hoping for donations to get it fixed.
But they are confident they will receive the helping hand that they have extended so many times.
"We have a really good community that helps us out, backs us up," Jones said.
"Whenever we have a need or a call for help our community rallies around us," Humphries said.
Donations can be made online at www.ajfoodbank.org under the DONATE button. Credit card or PayPal is accepted online. Or donations can be dropped off or mailed at 575 N. Idaho Rd, Suite #701, Apache Junction, AZ 85119.
If you wish to donate on the phone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The director said the staff, volunteers and food bank families would be humbled and grateful for any help with repairing the big truck.