Thieves strike at Lake Country Food Bank as group is in midst of move

A break in occurred in one of the Lake Country Food Bank's storage sheds as the group gets close to completing the move to new building

In the midst of a move to its new permanent location, the Lake Country Food Bank was vandalized and robbed sometime between last Saturday and Monday morning.

When volunteers arrived for work on Monday morning, they noticed one of the group’s storage sheds—used to store non-perishable food items—had its lock cut off and one of the freezers inside had been left open. A large amount of canned goods was removed from the location.

It was the first time the food bank had suffered a break in at the location, in the old Winfield Elementary School.

“We know this was a very isolated incident,” said Lake Country Food Assistance Society board member Joy Haxton. “We have incredible community support but you get angry when you see this kind of thing. We’ve got a lot on our plate. We’ve only got four days to complete our move and be ready for the next set of hampers. It was really lousy timing and very disappointing.”

Haxton reported the incident to Lake Country RCMP who are investigating but she said they don’t have a lot to go on. There was trash left behind and it appeared a fire had even been set outside one of the storage bins and she wasn’t sure if there was just one, or possibly two separate incidents.

The area where the storage lockers are located is hidden from public view on the nearby roads.

The break-in occurred with the Lake Country Food Assistance Society set to hand out the last of its hampers from the old location. The group provides hampers on a monthly basis and will hand out this month’s hampers to people from its old location and in March will be fully moved in to the new building, near the Winfield Seniors Centre.

“We’re doing great as far as the move is concerned,” said Haxton. “We have a large portion of our items, a lot of our canned goods already moved. But we have a lot in the sheds and that is where some of the items were stolen from.”

Haxton said the actual food bank building wasn’t vandalized as they would have had to enter through the school which has an alarm set up. And she says the new location will be much better as the group won’t have to utilize outside storage sheds.

“We have alarmed security and cameras at the new location and lights on all the time,” she said. “It’s exciting that we will be in the new building in two weeks. We still have food and orders coming in. It’s difficult to man two locations. it’s challenging but it’s pretty exciting.”

If you want to help the Lake Country Food Assistance Society contact them at 250-766-0125. If you have information on the break-in at the food bank, contact the RCMP at 250-766-2288.