The Real Junk Food Project 'want to meet' with burglars who targeted their Wakefield office
An environmental group say they will not press charges against burglars who stole hundreds of pounds of cash and electrical equipment from their office.
Staff at the Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) arrived this morning to find that the building's shutters had been forced open, and cash and electronic equipment were missing.
The keys for the van they use to collect food donations from across the district was also taken.
The burglars are believed to have broken in on Sunday.
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But instead of pressing charges against those who carried out the burglary, staff at the Sharehouse would like to meet and discuss how those responsible can pay TRJFP back for the damaged caused.
Adam Smith, the project's founder, said: "To whomever broke in to the Kindness Sharehouse yesterday, we would like to apologise for your inconvenience.
"In future, if you just ask us for money or food, we’d probably give it to you. You didn’t have to break our safe attempting to break into it; or smash open our donation bucket, or damage our keys.
"Please keep the £250 you stole from us and you are always welcome back to volunteer and find out more about the important work we do.
"However please return our van key as it is vital for the work we do every day.”
The company also thanked the public for an "incredible outpouring" of support.
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New locks, computers and a secure storage unit have already been donated to the project, less than six hours after the burglary was discovered.
A spokesperson for TRJFP said: "We never know what makes people do things like this, it's just one of those really unfortunate things.
"We don't know the situations of half the people that come into the Sharehouse, and we would never ask or judge.
"The burglars are always welcome back, to repay the money or to volunteer.
"We are not pressing charges upon the individuals and are working with West Yorkshire Police to talk to the offender about coming in and volunteering and meeting us.
"When one person does something negative, an entire community both local and non-local seems to come together to chip in.
"Volunteers have been in working really hard to ensure no one is disheartened over this. We are so grateful for every kind word or act."
The Real Junk Food Project is an environmental project which aims to eliminate food waste.
The company collect unsold food from supermarkets and businesses, and offer this to the public on a Pay-As-You-Feel basis.
As well as money, customers are encouraged to pay for their food by offering services or volunteering time to the project.
TRJFP's Kindness Sharehouse, at Headway Business Park on Denby Dale Road, Wakefield, opened in September 2018.
It is open six days a week, and relies heavily on donations and volunteers.
To find out more about TRJFP, visit their Facebook.