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Cold-hearted thieves strike

Last year, the Selma Area Food Bank provided 1.3 million pounds of food to area organizations and services aimed at helping individuals and families in a four-county area.

Following a theft of two condenser units last Wednesday, the food bank, the agency’s ability to provide frozen and refrigerated foods, has been halted.

Now, the agency is faced with a $6,390 bill to replace the stolen units, money the organization simply didn’t have in the budget to spend.

“This is not something we plan for or expect,” food bank executive director J.D. Parks said. “This really is something that hurts.”

Because of the food bank’s ability to purchase food at much lower rates, the money the agency must now spend on replacing these critical cooling units could have purchased more than 127,000 pounds of food.

“That amount of food could have been spent to provide 159,750 meals,” Parks said. “And all of this for about $8 of scrap copper.”

And, this is not the first time the nonprofit organization has been hit by thieves looking for copper in the air conditioning and cooler units. Parks said last year, an air-conditioning unit was stolen which cost the agency $2,700 to replace.

“This happens quite often. Too often,” Lt. Johnny King with the Selma Police Department said. “At this point, we don’t have any suspects in this case.”

Parks said the thieves had to go through a fenced-in area, complete with barbed wire and a large pad lock. Now, he said, the agency has added a chain and a larger pad lock.

The agency is now looking for help in defraying the cost of replacing these units.

“We usually don’t look for cash donations, it’s usually food donations,” Parks said. “But we would welcome any help we could receive.”

Those interested in making contributions to the food bank can do so by mailing a check to the Selma Area Food Bank, P.O. Box 2513, Selma, AL  36702.  The food bank is located at 497 Oak St. in Selma and is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
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