Donations help pantry repair vandalized vehicles – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast

ELLETTSVILLE, Indiana (WISH) — Pantry 279an Ellettsville food pantry that serves 34 counties in southern and central Indiana, had two of its vehicles vandalized in the early morning hours of July 30.

Director Cindy Chavez told News 8 on Saturday, “Someone came and broke all the handles on the van. He had taken a board and dented the doors, so they were very difficult to close. He opened the hood of the van and cut the battery cables, cut the catalytic converter, not extinguished but just destroyed.

Another vehicle belonging to Pantry 279 had its catalytic converter torn off.

The damage couldn’t have happened at the worst time. The Monroe County Food Pantry had to feed 2,000 children over the summer.

“There were donations that we couldn’t pick up. We couldn’t drive to the offsite places where we have stuff. We couldn’t make deliveries for a while because we had the delivery car,” Chavez said.

On Saturday, most of the damage was repaired thanks to donations from the community and local mechanics.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a time of rising food prices, Pantry 279 is seeing a lot more customers.

“We’re at 7,000 and we’re climbing every month,” Chavez said.

Chavez adds that no one has ever vandalized his pantry in the seven years it has been open.

“It really hurt us more than anything. We felt hurt. We felt cheated. It’s like, why would you do that? We feed you. We feed the community. We feed everyone Why would you come and do this and destroy the possibility of anyone getting food, especially children and the elderly? »

Chavez turned over surveillance footage to the Ellettsville Police Department. The video showed someone outside the pantry when the vandalism happened. News 8 contacted the department for more information about the crime, but did not hear back.

Ellettsville is about an hour’s drive southwest of downtown Indianapolis.