A Metro Vancouver food bank that was robbed three times in 72 hours has seen their fortunes turn – thanks to the generosity of their community.

Last Thursday, someone stole around $1,000 in gift cards from the Sources Food Bank in Langley. The next day, the van the agency used for food pick-ups and drop-offs was also stolen.

Then, to make matters worse, someone used the van’s gas card to purchase around $1,300 of diesel fuel. The van itself was eventually recovered, but it had sustained significant damages, and their second vehicle is broken down and needs $5,000 in repairs. 

Sources Food Bank CEO David Young said the robberies occurred during the busiest time of the year.

“This is when people get the most donations,” he said. “We serve more than 600 clients a week, and it’s an important time to make sure people have food. When thefts like this occur you’re not just stealing from us, you’re stealing food out of people’s bellies.”

But after a run of Grinch-like visits the agency received some good news, when thousands of dollars of donations and generous offers of help began pouring in. Purolator even offered to loan the foodbank a truck – and driver – for the week.

And then, on Tuesday afternoon, the ultimate gift arrived: a one tonne truck.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Denise Darrell, who works at the food bank, as the truck arrived. “Look at this – this is a beautiful truck.”

Mark Chandler, CEO of Newmark Group, said that after seeing a CTV News story on the thefts he wanted to help.

“We love Christmas and when this kind of crime happens it just sets you back, makes you sick to your stomach,” said Chandler. “And so we had to do something.”

Several businesses pitched in, and in less than an hour the truck was on its way – just one of many gifts from a community that wouldn’t let thieves crush their holiday spirit. 

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro