Burglars ransack town’s food bank

Foodbank in Knottingley broken into. Picutred is Janet Burns
Foodbank in Knottingley broken into. Picutred is Janet Burns

Cruel burglars broke into a food bank over the weekend and stole food donated for the needy.

Shocked workers at Knottingley Food Bank turned up on Monday morning to find huge amounts of groceries had been taken after the thieves broke their way into the charity’s storage containers.

They managed to prise open the doors and even cut a hole in the rear of the containers off Rope Walk to gain access.

Janet Burns, project leader explained: “The containers are on the methodist church car park and the people who park in there alerted us.

“Everybody is angry, it’s the shock of it because they have made a right mess.

“There’s nothing of any value in there, like computers or anything, just the food that is donated. It’s a shame that some people have to go to such measures because we’re only storing food to give to people who need it.

“If these people need food they could come to us and we could help them.

“It’s difficult to put a price on it, but it must be hundreds of pounds worth of food all of which has been generously donated by the public.”

The food bank was set up six years ago to help those in crisis, and Mrs Burns says that those who need assistance is steadily on the rise, especially with the recent introduction of the controversial universal credit benefits system overhaul.

Customers have to be referred through various outlets, such as social workers, schools and doctors’ surgeries, and receive a voucher which can then be swapped for three days’ worth of food.

She says they are now helping in excess of 2,000 people a year - and says they are determined they will continue as long as they are still needed.

“We are not going to let it put us off, there are people that need us, she added.

“If anything this is going to make us more determined.”

Mrs Burns said that much of the food that was taken was chocolate or sweets, rather than something “you could make a meal out of”.

Meanwhile, police are asking people to contact them on the non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference 13190062546, if they have any information about the break-in.