LUBBOCK, Texas — Dina Jeffries thought she was going in for a routine day of work as the CEO of the South Plains Food Bank last week when she found two of the trucks they use to take food to rural areas were broken into. The thieves cut through the fencing and took two catalytic converters. visited the South Plains Food Bank on Friday to check in after the theft. Since the incident, the fence has been repaired but the trucks still need catalytic converters, since it is illegal to drive without them.

Jeffries said there is never a good time to be stolen from but with the holiday season right around the corner, it’s especially bad timing.

“It’s right before the holidays. We’re trying to make sure everyone has enough food to gather around their tables and it’s unfortunate that we’re spending our energy on dealing with the theft,” Jeffries said.

They dealt with this same theft around this time last year and since then, built taller fences and put razor ribbons around them. However, it wasn’t enough to stop the thieves this year.

“We unfortunately are faced with about $17,000 to $20,000 worth of repairs to our fence, our fleet and added security to make sure that we lessen the chance of this happening again,” Jeffries said.

According to Jeffries, they plan to put in more lights and some motion sensors. She knows the money could have been used on food for people who need it, but she also knows the security measures are crucial in order for them to continue bringing food to those living in rural areas.

“One dollar donated equals three meals,” Jeffries said. “That’s about 60,000 meals that we could have provided.”

While Jeffries said they’re doing what they can to recover quickly, her frustration inevitably lingers. She said what’s getting them through it all is the community and help from the Lubbock Police Department. 

“It’s a very busy time for us so we will remain focused. We are moving forward as best we can, and we know our fleet will be repaired and we’ll get back out on the road as soon as we can and continue to feed those in need,” Jeffries said.

The South Plains Food Bank doesn’t yet know who the thieves are, but their security cameras caught them on video, and it is currently under investigation.