SCHENECTADY — A local food pantry is seeking community assistance after its van used to transport clients was totaled in a wreck in the city’s Mont Pleasant neighborhood last week.
“Another driver ran a stop sign,” said Rev. Phil Grigsby, executive director of Schenectady Inner City Ministry. “The van was knocked on its side and a total loss.”
The driver and two passengers escaped serious injury, but were transported to Ellis Hospital for examination.
“People were injured, but fortunately not seriously,” Grigsby said.
The 12-passenger van is critical in food shelf operations, shuttling between 15 to 20 households home daily from the pantry’s Albany Street location with their items, which are typically in multiple bags.
While the 2012 Ford F-350 was insured, the loss of the pantry’s sole van is an unexpected expense, and the vehicle’s age means SICM will get less reimbursement toward a new vehicle.
SICM is putting feelers out for a van it can borrow, or any special donations to help the nonprofit meet the cost for a new vehicle, which Grigsby estimates will cost $40,000.
“Sometimes people don’t come because they don’t know how they’re going to get home,” Grigsby said.