Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A Syracuse church is scrambling to get its soup kitchen open again after thieves ransacked its pantry and ran off with dozens of boxes of food.
Leaders at New Salem Baptist Church discovered the thieves’ handiwork on Tuesday morning, when they found a window kicked in and damaged cans of food scattered across the floor.
"To have someone break into a church that kind of moves me in a different direction... that anything can happen at anytime,” said Dr. L. Dexter, the church’s pastor.
The thieves got away with hundreds of dollars worth of food that was intended for the city’s hungry.
The church’s soup kitchen serves people twice per week. But they were unable to open on Tuesday due to a lack of food. So many people showed up that staff members had to post a sign to break the bad news.
"Some of them, that's the only hot meal they're going to get, so it's very difficult,” Dexter said. "To turn someone away and say that we can't do anything right now because of this...it was really hard, saddening for me."
The minister says nothing appears to have been taken beside the food.
“I know the economy is bad and people are doing all kinds of things in order to survive but if you at least ask us, we're more willing to help, by at least asking versus breaking into a church...it's really disheartening that someone would do that,” Dexter said.
The church is asking for donations of bread, canned foods, rice, and pasta in bulk. They hope to re-open on Thursday if they can gather enough food.
Anyone who can help should call the church at (315) 863-5826.