Edmonton’s Food Bank gets help to replace stolen catalytic converter

EDMONTON — After the food bank had a catalytic converter stolen from one of its delivery trucks Tuesday, two Edmonton area businesses have stepped up to cover the cost of replacement and repairs.

This is the third catalytic converter theft in six months for the food bank’s fleet, causing the non-profit to run shorthanded.

“Someone comes overnight and basically covers their face, covers their license plate, parks on an angle where we can’t see over our cameras who they are, and they take the catalytic converters,” said Carly Kincaid-Williams, a spokesperson for Edmonton’s Food Bank.

After hearing about the food bank’s misfortune, the Millwoods neighbourhood Speedy Automotive, and JLG Industries of Legal each offered to take care of the costs.

“Depending on whether it’s fuel or diesel engines,” Mike Briggs, of Speedy Automotive said. “It can run a few thousand dollars.”

Briggs says the converters can weigh upwards of 80 pounds, and are made with precious metals, like platinum. 

“This one reached me when I heard the news that this was happening,” Larry George, CEO of JLG Industries said. “It’s sort of sad, sad and pitiful.”

The delivery trucks are depended on to pick-up donations, as well as drop-off food to people in need across the city.

Edmonton’s Food Bank, which is entirely donations based, says it’s thankful for this unexpected partnership between the two businesses, saying the money it is now saving can go back into helping fight hunger.

“It’s fantastic because we don’t have to put out that money to get it fixed,” said Kincaid-Williams.  “We can put it back in to feeding the people in our community, feeding our neighbours that need help.”

Speedy Automotive says it will provide the labour to replace the catalytic converter at no charge, while JLG Industries will cover the cost of parts.

While the costs are being covered this time, there is still concern it’ll happen again. The food bank says if the crime is rooted in desperation, just drop in.

“Don’t steal. It’s not worth it,” said Kincaid-Williams. “If you need the help, that’s why we’re here.”