December 25 at 9:00am

Look what Santa put under our tree at Interfaith!

Interfaith has a cool new truck, courtesy of an anonymous supporter.

The 2006 Isuzu diesel refrigerator truck will come in handy for making pickups of perishable food. The truck also has a lift gate, which will make it easier for the agency’s workers to pick up furniture, washers and dryers, and other large items.

“The refrigeration on the old truck hadn’t worked in a long time and we pick up a lot of perishable stuff,” said Jerry Morgan, Interfaith’s basic needs program manager. “Now we have a lift gate so it is saving our employees’ backs over trying to lift stuff into the old truck.”

The donation of the truck came about after Morgan asked a friend and volunteer with Interfaith for suggestions on repairing the old truck. Upon learning of the problems with the old truck, the friend told Morgan, “Let me see what I can do.”

With help from All German Auto in Escondido, the Isuzu truck was located in Stockton. All German contacted a mechanic in that area to check out the vehicle. Upon getting the A-OK, the anonymous donor sent an employee to Stockton to drive the truck to Escondido.

Interfaith didn’t get the truck immediately. The donor said he wanted to “make it look real nice” before making the gift, said Morgan. The front end was repainted and the sides of the truck were buffed out to remove decals from its previous use as a rental truck.

“He shined it all up. It looked like a car that had been detailed,” Morgan added.

The truck is now in use pretty much all day every day. Among its biggest new uses will be as a mobile refrigerator unit for the Community Resource Center’s Holiday Baskets event beginning Dec. 19 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Fifteen-hundred frozen chickens and 400 frozen turkeys purchased by Interfaith will be loaded onto the truck. Workers at the three-day event will have easy access to those birds.

“This is really helping them out. In previous years they had to go to Albertsons two or three times a day to pick up chickens and turkeys,” said Morgan. “It’s like one of those things where we wonder how we ever picked up stuff without it.”

Morgan is extremely grateful for the donation of the truck and the ease with which the transaction took place.

“We picked it up. That’s all we had to do. All the negotiations and the paperwork and the pickup of the truck and bringing it down here were taken care of,” he said. “We didn’t have to do anything. So you can’t do better than that. Plus the fact we didn’t have to pay for it.”

As for the donor, he didn’t want attention, saying that a fondness for Interfaith motivated his gift.

“They just needed it. The other truck was shot and not worth putting money into,” he said.