Goodwill overcomes Sidmouth food bank burglary

The Sid Valley Food Bank was burgled on Sunday (November 29)

The Sid Valley Food Bank was burgled on Sunday (November 29) - Credit: Archant

Cash stolen from the Sid Valley Food Bank by heartless thieves has already been replaced, thanks to generous donations from across the community.

The charity’s base at the Unitarian Chapel was burgled on Sunday night (November 29) and more than £100 was taken.

The bulk of the money had been from Sidmouth residents who wanted to support the food bank’s Christmas hamper appeal.

But just days after the burglary, donations totalling £170 have been received by the charity from people who had heard about the theft.

Food bank manager Lois Swarbrick thanked the community for its ‘amazing response’.

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She said: “The ‘good’ people definitely outweigh the ‘bad’!”

Speaking after the break-in, Lois told the Herald she was devastated to find the cash had been taken. “I can’t believe someone would stoop that low,” she said.

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“We deal with people in society who have the least.

“I hope whoever took it needed the money more than the families we help each week.

“You don’t expect it, especially in Sidmouth.”

Lois noticed a small pane of glass on the church hall doorway had been smashed when she arrived at the church hall in All Saints Road on Monday.

Seeing no damage or nothing obvious missing inside, she opened up the food bank to clients as usual.

She later realised the money had been taken when she went to collect the cash tin, which had been hidden inside a locked cupboard.

She said: “The sad thing is that I think it was probably someone who knew it was there, because nothing else had been touched or damaged.”

Lois added that the food bank would be improving its security following the break-in.

The food bank had its busiest day last week – providing five days’ worth of emergency provisions to 14 individuals and families.

The Christmas appeal sees the service go the extra mile for its clients, preparing festive hampers, which include vouchers for fresh meat and vegetables that can be redeemed closer to December 25.

Anyone with information about the burglary can contact police by calling 101 and quoting crime reference CR082514/15.

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