September 23 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Gelder
Friday, April 4, 2014
Heartless thieves broke into a foodbank last week, stealing donated goods used to feed hungry families.
Mark and Ruth Reeves, who run the Harold Hill Foodbank in Hilldene Avenue, contacted police after discovering the building had been burgled on Friday.
About 4kg of food was taken, enough to feed a family of four for one week. It had been donated to the bank by local people, schools, churches, and businesses.
The bank gets about seven visitors a day, some looking to feed themselves, others requiring enough food for their families.
Mark, who discovered what had happened when he arrived to open up, said: “I found the door kicked in. They had been through filing cabinets and taken boxes of food.
“We can only guess at who did it. It could be someone had turned up with legitimate vouchers outside our opening hours and got frustrated, it could be kids being kids. We don’t know, but most people appreciate it is a charity.”
The couple set up the food bank in 2012. It is run by charity Kingdom Storehouse and is part of the Trussell Trust network, a Christian charity that works against poverty.
Ruth added: “It is a shame, if they had gone to one of our 60 distributors to receive a voucher we would have happily given them food.”
The break-in compounded the couple’s struggles as the foodbank is facing closure due to the council building they currently occupy being let out to new tenants.
The charity was hoping to move to Gooshays Drive but that property has also since been bought out.
Now, a Brentwood company have quoted £120,000 for a new modular building and Mark and Ruth have applied for funding from companies Veolia and Drapers.
Ruth added: “We want to continue to provide this important service to the people of Harold Hill and Havering.
“Any local businesses or individuals that would like to donate to our property fund can donate.”
If you are interested in donating to the food bank, visit haroldhill.foodbank.org.uk.