N. Mpls food shelf trying to re-stock after donations stolen

5:45 PM, Dec 20, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - There is a call to action Tuesday after someone stole more than 1,500 pounds of donations meant for a food shelf in north Minneapolis.

The food was supposed to feed nearly 200 families. But just days before its annual giveaway, police say a person who volunteered to transport the food just drove off with the donations instead.

"We have been reaching out god willing to our neighborhood," said Gethsemane Lutheran Pastor Jeff Nehrbass.

Gethsemane Lutheran has been giving back to the community for more than a century.

The church, along with two other congregations, runs The Camden Promise Food Shelf. This year, a food drive brought in enough donations to feed more than 160 families this Christmas. But on the way from the drive to the food shelf, one of the volunteer drivers, who was transporting a good chunk of those donations, allegedly took a different turn.

"Just took the food and didn't deliver it to the church," Nehrbass said.

The volunteer never delivered the 1,500 pounds of donated food. No one knows why or what he did with it all. As it turns out, the volunteer has used the food shelf himself.

"That was the most puzzling thing is why someone who could have as much food as they want at no cost would take so much so selfishly," said Nehrbass.

In just a year, the number of families who use Camden Promise has gone from 16 to 164.

"A lot of people are the working poor. A lot of people trying to make ends meet," says Nehrbass.

Now, with a third of the Christmas donations gone, the folks at The Camden Promise Food Shelf know they won't be able to fill the growing need and won't have enough to give to families for their Christmas meals.

"It's a season for miracles and I know that there will be a miracle," said Roxi Mork who is also with the church and the food shelf.

That miracle may have come Tuesday afternoon. Cub Foods said they will donate 1,500 pounds of food and 200 hams to The Camden Promise Food Shelf.

As for the investigation, police have a suspect. The city attorney's office will decide whether to charge him.

If you want to help
KARE 11 is partnering with Cobourn's Delivers to collect food for the Emergency Food Shelf.

If you want to drop off non-perishable food donations, you can bring them to KARE 11 (8811 Olson Memorial Highway, Golden Valley, MN 55427) Tuesday night from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. We will accept donations again Wednesday morning from 7 a.m. to noon.

(Copyright 2011 KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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