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WAFER Food Pantry’s truck vandalism affecting service to those in need

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Authorities are working to determine who vandalized the WAFER Food Pantry's Mobile Pantry last weekend.

WAFER staff tells News 19 that the vehicle's catalytic converter was stripped and removed.

Erin Waldhart, the Executive Director for WAFER Food Pantry said unfortunately, vandalism isn't something new to WAFER and its assets.

This is the second act of vandalism in two months.

"Because of the vandalism, we've had to put in extra staff-hours to get the truck fixed. Every time that vehicle goes into a repair, it has to be completely offloaded," Waldhardt said. "Since we carry fresh produce, dairy products, and frozen meat, the generator has to be running or plugged in our building to keep that food fresh and safe for our patrons to consume."

The repair cost to replace the catalytic converter and possibly other damage is upwards of $2,000. Waldhart reports that WAFER can provide four meals for each dollar. Therefore, WAFER is looking to use more than $2,000 to repair the truck instead of providing what would be 8,000 plus meals for families in the area.

The mobile pantry helps WAFER distribute food items around the area. WAFER said they serve several hundred families via the mobile pantry. For the past three years, its travels to 19 different sites serving communities where people have a lack of transportation or serving senior living sites.

A typical package contains meat, dairy, fresh produce and bakery items.

You can help WAFER by donating to the pantry with this link.

You can also donate here.


Authorities ask that if anyone has any information to please contact them directly or the Crime Stoppers Tipline at (608) 784-TIPS(8477). The City of La Crosse Police Department's non-emergency number is (608) 789-7200.

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Lindsey Ford

Lindsey Ford is a multimedia journalist.

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