…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.
A food bank operated by a church in Swansea that provides assistance to nearly 200 people has been targeted by burglars who stole all the food and other essential items.
The theft occurred at the hall adjacent to St Thomas Church in St Thomas, Swansea.
Among the stolen items were baby toys, a teenage bike, soft drinks for a tuck shop, and a significant quantity of food.
Vicar Steve Bunting revealed that the culprits gained entry through a fire exit overnight on Saturday, June 3.
They were estimated to have been in the building for around 30 minutes, given the amount of stock taken.
Doors to side rooms were found open.
Some of the food had already been packed in bags for distribution to families on Monday morning, while a larger quantity remained unpacked.
Heartbreaking Loss and Impact
Rev. Bunting expressed his sadness over the incident, suspecting that the culprits may have been individuals who had previously relied on the food bank’s support.
He emphasized the devastating impact, stating that the stolen items represented a week’s worth of food for people in need.
The resale value of the stolen stock was minimal, making the theft even more puzzling and distressing.
Community Support and Response
Initially hesitant to involve the police, Rev. Bunting hoped to assist the individuals responsible rather than see them face prosecution.
He expressed a desire for them to come forward, share their situation, and explore ways to offer support.
However, the incident has since been reported to the police, and Rev. Bunting intends to collaborate with local officers.
The food bank, operating from the church itself for around seven years, has become a vital resource supporting 170 to 200 individuals.
The number of beneficiaries has risen, particularly after Christmas, often resulting in long queues before opening hours.
The church also offers additional services, including a not-for-profit cafe, a community training kitchen, and advice on welfare payments and homelessness.
Community Resilience and Generosity
Despite the unfortunate incident, Rev. Bunting has been heartened by the community’s response.
Donations of food have poured in, with Swansea Dockers Sports and Social Club contributing £250.
An envelope containing money was also anonymously posted through Rev. Bunting’s door, explicitly intended for purchasing food.
The support and generosity have provided solace and encouragement in the face of adversity.
The burglary at the Swansea church’s food bank has left both the church and the community devastated.
The loss of food and essential items intended for vulnerable individuals highlights the ongoing challenges faced by those relying on the food bank’s assistance.
However, the incident has also demonstrated the resilience and compassion within the community, with an outpouring of support and donations.
Together, they strive to overcome this setback and continue their essential work.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn