A truck fire on Idylwyld Drive just before the lunch hour Tuesday has a Saskatoon food charity scrambling to figure out how to deliver to school kids in need.
CHEP, a not-for-profit organization which delivers healthy food to schools across the city, lost its only refrigerated truck in the blaze over the Lorne Avenue overpass.
Executive Director Yvonne Hanson told 650 CKOM the truck was on its weekly delivery route when the driver saw flames in his mirror.
He stopped the truck and both him and his assistant were able to escape without injury.
However, the truck is a total loss along with 5,000 pounds of fresh food.
“It’s a pretty sad day at CHEP,” Hanson said. “We lost our main source of transportation for getting food to schools and community markets.”
She said the used truck was purchased about three years ago and was last serviced on April 18.
The truck’s destruction led staff to call rental companies for the rest of the day Tuesday in search of a replacement.
Hanson said they were told no refrigerated trucks were available until after school lets out for the summer.
A plan is being developed to continue food deliveries next week through shorter, more frequent trips with smaller vehicles.
In the meantime, Hanson has had to make some difficult calls.
“We have the duty to call up schools and say ‘we’re really sorry, but we can’t help you this week,'” she said.
No cause has been determined for the fire.
Hanson is asking any people with ideas to help CHEP to contact the organization.