Food bank raided by thieves who switched off freezers ‘out of spite’

Thieves have raided a Grimsby food bank set up to help the needy – and even switched off the freezers.

The shameless burglars stole a mountain of food destined for the town’s most vulnerable.

Manager at the Rock Foundation Food Bank Lisa Barton “went pale” after noticing the bare shelves and ransacked deep freezers inside the facility based at Holme Hill School on the East Marsh.

‘I’m upset,’ she said. ‘This is so needed by people. It’s very upsetting to know that they came in and stole from us. ‘It’s difficult to understand, but we opened regardless. We won’t have it.’ Meat, cheese, tins and even shampoo were taken by the thieves who smashed their way in on Sunday night.

They left entire shelves completely empty, food strewn over the floor and freezer doors open after their raid. Despite the heartbreaking incident, dedicated volunteers managed to welcome a legion of needy users on Monday.

The food bank’s founder Pamela Hodge said: ‘We came in this morning. Groceries had gone and they switched off the freezers out of spite. ‘When you think we’re feeding 100 people a day, this is a big hit to us.’

She thinks the culprit could be a disgruntled user, adding: ‘We think it must be someone who knows us, someone who has been in here before. ‘We do have individuals we have to refuse. We won’t have people who are abusive. They know they have got to behave.’ Volunteer Stephen Saddler said: ‘We have been invaded. Someone has robbed our food. It’s disgusting what they have done. It’s diabolical.

‘They have taken it from people who need it most. We give the stuff away anyway, why did they have to come in and take it?’ It appears as though the thieves deliberately stole more expensive items of food, combing labels and cherry-picking more prestigious brands during their late night raid. ‘They knew what they were doing,’ said Stephen. ‘They haven’t gone for the cheap stuff. They have left all that and gone for anything with a fancy label.’

The facility, which has been open for five years, feeds up to 100 people a day and is a ‘second home’ for many.

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