Vandals total YMCA van used to transport food to local children in need

SPOKANE, Wash. — Vandals totaled a van used to transport meals to local children facing food insecurity.

Staff members at the Spokane Valley YMCA found the destroyed van on Tuesday morning. It is used throughout the year at distribution events across the county.

“We know the impact healthy nutrition plays in the development of young bodies and minds, and as an organization focusing on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, we as the Y want to be able to serve those who needs us the most — who we know are children in our community facing many challenges such as not being certain about where their next meal is coming from. A situation like this where a vehicle used to do so much good is destroyed is just so disappointing and frustrating,” President and CEO Steve Tammaro said.

According to a release from the YMCA, food insecurity has only heightened since the start of the pandemic. The organization has also opened childcare for essential personnel along with free meals for any child in the area 18 years or younger.

Before the van was vandalized, the YMCA was exploring grant funding to add a second vehicle to expand distribution. Mary Berry, Communications and Marketing Director, said the damage sustained exceeds the ultimate value of the vehicle and the cost to repair  itwould not be prudent.

If anyone has any information about who may have damaged the van, call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.