Following the breakdown last Tuesday of its main freezer, Mesa-based United Food Bank has received amazing support from the community and local businesses, generating enough in donations to fix the freezer. The new compressor for its warehouse freezer was ready to be turned on yesterday, Aug. 14.
With the freezer fixed, the food bank needs help refilling it with nutritious frozen food to replace the more than 21,000 pounds lost during the breakdown. They’re asking the community to continue to pitch in to reach the nearly $39,000 it will take to complete this effort.
An immediate past chairwoman of the board and current board member has launched a GoFundMe to help raise the money to fill the freezer. People can donate to the GoFundMe at, gofundme.com/fill-the-freezer, or they can donate on the food bank website, www.UnitedFoodBank.org.
Items that were still frozen and moved into the freezer truck last week will be moved back into the repaired freezer this afternoon.
“The freezer is pivotal to our operations at United Food Bank so it’s quite a financial hit. Not only the cost of the repair, but replacing the 21,000 pounds of food to restock it,” said Dave Richins, president and CEO of United Food Bank, last week. “We are grateful for donations of any size, which can be made at our website, unitedfoodbank.org.”
United Food Bank still needs donations of several food items lost to spoilage from the freezer breakdown – frozen fruits, vegetables and meats. These items are an essential part of its distribution to the five counties the organization serves each month.
Beyond the food loss, the damage to the freezer is even greater. The repair estimate is more than $10,000. United Food Bank distributes the equivalent of four meals for each dollar spent, so the cost of these repairs translates into a loss of more than 40,000 meals for those in need.