The food bank at the Little Red Church is always open. Any hour of the day or night you can take or leave food.
Which is why it was odd when, come last Saturday morning, church board members found someone had broken into the little room, which also acts as an entryway to the church.
“They’d piled stuff up by the window [likely] so they could get in,” said Lynn Williams, who works at the church.
Someone had smashed a small window behind some of the shelves of food, sending glass out over the shelves. Flour, maple syrup and other food spilled over on the floor.
Because the window broke over the food, at least half a garbage bag full of food had to be thrown out.
“You didn’t know what had glass on it,” said Williams.
Though the window was broken, Williams said that it is too small for someone to enter through and there were still jagged glass edges in the frame, so the person or people must have, in the end, entered through the door.
Williams said that the lock into the nave of the church had also been tampered with but it would have been a futile exercise to enter there anyway.
“We keep nothing in there of any value,” she said.
It’s not the first time the food bank has been targeted. Cpl. Paulo Arreaga of Bowen RCMP said that this is the third reported break and enter at the food bank since 2014 (this includes the shed where they store other food.)
This is also the second incident in as many months at the Little Red Church – in December someone stole a donations box containing money for the food bank. The box was later recovered nearby, though empty of cash.
While the police suggested installing a camera at the food bank, for privacy reasons the church decided against this and instead might install a better light.
But the whole incident left Williams somewhat befuddled.
“Why break a window, come on in,” she said. “And if people are ever that desperate, my goodness, tell someone.”
The smashed window is now boarded up and it’s business as usual for the food bank.
“On behalf of the church board we remind people that the door to the food bank is unlocked and accessible 24 hours a day,” said church board member Helen Wallwork. “We are disappointed that the vandalism occurred, but will continue to stock the shelves and freezer to provide for our community.”