Houston non-profit has $40,000 donated tractor stolen

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A local charity is recovering after a Thanksgiving Day burglary left them without the means to produce and transport healthy food that helps feed many Houstonians.

Recipe for Success Foundation runs Hope Farms on Scott Street and Airport Boulevard. Their mission is to help feed Houstonians with affordable, healthy produce. They also teach people about healthy eating, train veterans in farming and operate school nutrition programs.

The foundation received a tractor this spring as a donation. Gracie Cavnar, who started the non-profit organization, told Eyewitness News the tractor allowed them to double and even triple their production.

But on Thanksgiving Day, someone stole the tractor from the farm.

"This was somebody, I hate to say it, who knew a little about our operation because they came straight to our container, which we were told was locked in a way that no one could get in," Cavnar said. "It looks like they used some type of blow torch to get in. It's where we kept our four by four, which was donated to us. We would never have been able to buy one. We're farming instead of gardening because we have a tractor."

Tyler Froberg is the managing director at Hope Farms. He said the tractor itself is a Kubota BX1880. It doesn't have a belly deck motor on it which sets it apart from other tractors. It has a tiller on the back and a front end loader.

"One very, very specific thing to this tractor, and it sounds kind of funny. On the bottom left hand side of the seat is a small hole because I keep my harvest knife in my back pocket. Every time I get on the tractor, it pokes a hole in the seat," said Froberg. "It's tough. We break our backs out here."

Anyone who would like to make a donation to help replace the tractor can do so on the farm's website.

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