Thieves strike again at city food bank

Lisa Grant St Catherine's Church food bank. (W541C338)
Lisa Grant St Catherine's Church food bank. (W541C338)

Thieves broke into the city’s food bank and stole supplies destined for struggling families.

The intruders took tinned corned beef, tuna and meat from St Catherine’s Church Centre on Tuesday night.

Centre manager Lisa Grant, said it’s the second time the food bank has been targeted in as many months.

She said: “They didn’t get in last time, but were clearly more determined this time and got away with a few carrier bags full of mainly high protein items that we are always desperately short of.

“It’s so upsetting. We think the items must have been taken to sell on.”

Security has now been tightened at the centre to try and deter other thieves.

Ms Grant added: “I’ve had a few sleepless nights worrying that it’s going to happen again.

“We are trying to do something we think is really valuable.

“ It does feel very personal when something like this happens.”

The food bank has experienced an unprecedented increase in demand in recent months, with people walking from as far as Normanton to pick up a food parcel.

Changes in benefits, redundancies and the rising costs of living are some of the reasons behind the increase in visitors, who come from all walks of life.

The food parcels contain essential basics including pasta and tinned vegetables.

Ms Grant said: “We are here to help anyone and we are not here to judge.”

The church also helps people with advice on how to deal with debt problems and holds a job club.

Inspector Richard Clare, of the Wakefield Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This is a great concern. It is a fabulous community resource that we fully support. It’s a real shame when people deprive those in need through greed.”

Donations of food and essentials like milk are always needed.

To donate to the food bank, visit the church centre on Doncaster Road, or call 01924 211130.