Iowa City, Iowa, March 20, 2023 – Table to Table (T2T), a volunteer-based Iowa City non-profit organization that recovers and delivers half the food distributed to people facing food insecurity in Johnson County has had services disrupted after theft of catalytic converters from their food rescue vehicles.
Upon arriving at T2T to launch food rescue routes this past Friday morning, T2T staff and volunteers discovered two vehicles were completely disabled, missing their catalytic converters. This pricey part has been the target of a nationwide rash of thefts. While this stolen part may get thieves only $50 to $300 at a scrapyard, this small nonprofit will have to pay $1,500 to $3,000 to repair and replace the parts, and then even more to protect these vehicles and the others from future catalytic converter theft.
With just a small fleet of refrigerated cargo vans, T2T volunteers collect and redistribute 45,000 pounds of food each week in Johnson County. This is a critical lifeline local neighbors need now more than ever due to drastic reductions in SNAP benefits enacted in April of 2022, and a dramatic increase in food prices that have led to a rapidly changing (increasing) food insecurity landscape in Johnson County. As resources at T2T’s local partner organizations including local food pantries and emergency meal sites are stretched thinner and thinner, every pound of food T2T can deliver is critical. Due to these thefts, T2T is currently operating without a quarter of their regular fleet, making it harder to capture all the food available as long as the vehicles are out of commission.
T2T needs community support to get the vehicles back on the road and bring operations back up to full capacity. Costs estimated for the affected vehicles exceed $5,000 and estimates to protect their remaining vehicles is not yet known. To donate, please visit table2table.org/donation
Table to Table is a Johnson County non-profit that bridges the gap between abundance and hunger. Table to Table volunteers keep wholesome, edible food from going to waste by collecting it from local food donor organizations and distributing it to local anti-hunger organizations. T2T has distributed well over 30 million pounds of food locally since its founding in 1996.