Joe Jenkins

Joe Jenkins from Earnhardt's Auto Body

When word got out through social media a few weeks ago that thieves had taken the tailgate right off a United Food Bank pickup truck in a Mesa parking lot, the community came together to make sure the vehicle’s cargo would be safe and sound on the Valley streets.

Many people contacted the nonprofit group with offers of cash and repairs. In the end, a suitable tailgate was found in a salvage yard, and Earnhardt’s Auto Body donated their time to paint it from its original red to match the white pickup.

“We were surprised, but thrilled, with the community’s reaction,” said Bob Evans, United Food Bank’s president and CEO, in a news release. “We were just telling our story on Facebook and Twitter, as we always do, and it resulted in a lot of folks coming forward wanting to help.”

The theft could not have come at a worse time, and the support couldn’t have been more welcome: Food banks find it harder to collect donations in the warmer months, and 270 agencies in Arizona depend on United Food Bank. They always need help, and you can get involved by calling (480) 926-4897 or visiting

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