Food has been stolen from a charity which has helped more than 7,000 people battling to make ends meet in Bath.
Thieves broke into the Bath Foodbank’s warehouse at Bathampton on Thursday night, taking food and toiletries donated to the charity.
The initiative - run locally by the Genesis Trust - is part of a national network of foodbanks which are acting as a safety net for people hit by welfare reforms, redundancy and debt.
It aims to keep people going for the next three days with emergency food parcels.
Bath Foodbank chairman David Purdon said the thieves had stolen an electronic weighing machine worth around £60, items of food and all the supplies of soap, shampoo and toilet rolls.
They also left behind a lot of mess in the warehouse.
He said: “It is very disappointing for all the volunteers who freely give their time to Bath Foodbank to find that we have been broken into.
“We rely on the generosity of the people of Bath to provide donations of food and other items, and it is sad to think that some people would steal from us.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Bath who continue to support us and always give so generously.”
Mr Purdon said the charity did not publicise the location of its warehouse, which is made up of four shipping containers, so it was not clear if the culprits knew what they were stealing.
He said offers of help were already flooding in and if people wanted to replenish the stocks then they could donate at various points across the city.
These are the Morrisons in London Road, St Michael’s Cafe opposite Waitrose, Sainsbury’s at Green Park, and Manvers St Cafe.
There will also be an all-day collection at Sainsbury’s in Odd Down on Saturday, April 12.
Since the Bath Foodbank launched in September 2011 it has provided more than 7,000 people, including 2,000 children, with emergency food to see them through short-term crisis.
Bath police have confirmed they are investigating the theft and have increased foot patrols in the area.
— Bath Foodbank (@BathFoodbank) March 30, 2014
— David Purdon (@purdon_david) March 30, 2014
To find out more, go to http://bath.foodbank.org.uk.