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Swansea: St Thomas Church sadness at food bank burglary

A food bank run by a Swansea church has had all its food stolen in a break-in.

The Reverend Steve Bunting says it is desperate for someone to steal from a food bank (Photo: Richard Youle)

St Thomas Church in St Thomas, which supports almost 200 people, was burgled on Saturday night.

"I think the likelihood is that it was someone who has previously used us, which makes it all the sadder," said the Reverend Steve Bunting.

"If someone had come in and said, 'I'm absolutely desperate, I need £20,' it would have been easier for us to give it to them."

The items taken included baby toys, an orange bike and soft drinks after the culprits gained entry overnight.

Some of the food had already been packed up and was ready to be distributed on Monday morning.

The church has been forced to turn people away as a result and it has deprived people of a week's worth of food, said Mr Bunting.

The church has been running the food bank for about seven years (Photo: Richard Youle)

"Someone has got to be desperate to think a food bank is the best thing to steal from," he added.

Mr Bunting has reported the burglary to South Wales Police, although he was hesitant, because he wants to help those responsible.

He said that being arrested would be "another step in the wrong direction" as they were not in a good place.

The community has since rallied around the church with food donations, while Swansea Dockers Sports and Social Club has contributed £250.

"For every bad act there are 10, 20 good ones, often anonymous, it is incredibly heart-warming," said Mr Bunting.

Last September the Prince and Princess of Wales visited the church and spoke to volunteers and members of the congregation. Catherine described the food bank as a "lifeline" for many people.

The church has been running the food bank for around seven years and also offers advice for issues such as welfare payments and homelessness.

Mr Bunting said the number of people using the food bank had risen since Christmas with some waiting up to two hours before it opened.


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