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Food bank struck again

For the second time in a month, thieves have ravaged the Selma Food Bank.

Wednesday morning, director J.D. Parks said the staff arrived to find they had again been victimized by copper thieves. This time, however, the damage was even more severe.

“They got the brand new condenser units for the freezer and the cooler,” he said. “Last time they only got two of the three. This time they got all three and I am guessing it’s more than $10,000 worth of damage.”

That number, Parks said, does not include all of the food that was stolen, damaged or ruined during the burglary. When tallied, the hit the food bank took on frozen goods alone is astounding. More than 1,170 pounds of food that would have gone toward needy families in the area is now missing or ruined.

The lost food, parks said, would have been about 1,460 meals. The $10,000 the bank will not have to spend to replace the stolen items would have provided 250,000 meals, Banks said, on top of the 160,000 meals from the previous thefts.

“We’re getting close to half a million meals,” he said. “People have no idea the kind of volume we can have on the poor people in our four-county area. It’s a staggering number.”

Food from the bank helps 15,000 clients per month. Each meal provided is classified as a client service.

During the September burglary, investigators estimated the thefts of two copper coils would bring $16. This time, the entire units were stolen, which would add up to around $30 in scrap metal, Parks said.

Fortunately, Parks said there is enough dry food to continue to provide meals to the needy. But, he added, replacing the lost equipment will hurt.

“For the freezer and cooler we probably receive 1,000 pounds of food a day,” he said.

“We can’t take that anymore. It doesn’t go anywhere. We also get food through Feeding America at the Montgomery Area Food Bank and we can’t take any of that either.”

Just as they did after the September thefts, Parks said the food bank is hoping the public will step forward to help.

Donations can be dropped off at the food bank’s 497 Oak St. location or mailed to P.O. Box 2513, Selma, 36701.

The bank can also be reached by calling 872-4111.

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