Opinion: Food pantry, shelter should not be targets of crime

Published 10:11 am Thursday, May 30, 2024

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A Selma Times-Journal Editorial

Two horrific crimes occurred during Memorial Day weekend in Selma with the break-ins of the SonLight food pantry and Winston Williams Homeless shelter.

According to Gospel Tabernacle Pastor John E. Grayson, who gives away food with the Sonlight Center, the food pantry was broken into and several items stolen, including the internet modem and camera. Grayson said the damaged rollup door will cost $2,000 to repair or replace, taking away funds that could be used to help those in need. During the same time, the Winston Williams homeless shelter was burglarized with two blue carts taken. Grayson said he’s talked to the Selma Police Department.

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To say we’re disappointed is an understatement. We admire Pastor Grayson for his charitable acts across the community and he has a church to run. Grayson doesn’t have to do this, but we applaud him. 

A $500 reward is being offered for the person or persons who committed the food pantry burglary. If a person needs food, all they have to do is get in line when Grayson and the Sonlight Center gives it away on a certain date at Memorial Stadium.

We’re hopeful for law enforcement to find out who committed this theft and make an arrest. There is no reason to target organizations like this who are trying to help the community.