PRESCOTT, Ark. (KTHV) - A southern Arkansas community is in disbelief after a burglary at a food pantry.
The pantry director said Wednesday that whoever did this did not steal any food, but they did steal a heating and air unit from the pantry. Now replacing that means less money to provide food for those in need.
"To me it makes you feel like you're violated," said Faye Purifoy, Director of the FoodShare Arkansas pantry off Highway 371 North in Prescott.
Purifoy can't get over the fact that someone broke into her food pantry and stole from the organizations that aims to help people in need.
"What they did was steal from the community that needs food, because in replacing that (unit), we will be spending money that we could have used for food," Purifoy said.
Purifoy said the Foodshare Arkansas pantry paid $600 just a few months ago for the unit. Paying that kind of money again means that a month's worth of food is out of the budget.
"It could have gone a long ways," Purifoy said.
Purifoy believes someone stole the unit sometime between last Friday and Tuesday. She reported the burglary to Prescott police who have no solid leads. Around town on Wednesday, residents were just heartbroken.
"People need food in this community, that's very, very sad," Deshawn Fellows said.
"I hate it, I hate that it happened in this community because there are so many people in the community who need some help," Pastor Benjamin Thomas said.
Purifoy said the pantry serves about 250 to 300 families each month. And with some shelves already empty now, she expects a tough road ahead.
"I understand it's a struggle everywhere you know but it happening now, it's really going to be an extra burden," Purifoy said.
The pantry's funds are actually at the lowest they've been since opening five years ago. Purifoy thinks it's because of more people coming in, getting fewer grants, and donations being down. But she's hopeful for some community support since folks have pitched in before.
The pantry buys food from a supplier in Texarkana and relies on donations that come in.
Donations can be sent to the FoodShare Pantry at PO Box 501, Prescott, AR 71857 or call 870-887-FOOD.
Anyone with information on who may be responsible for the burglary is asked to contact the Prescott Police Dept. at (870) 887-6779.