By Edgar Linares

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A food pantry that was struggling to feed hundreds of needy families after almost a ton of food was taken got a big helping hand on Wednesday.

The Camden Promise Food Shelf at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in north Minneapolis received several trucks full of food.

On Friday, a volunteer was helping transport 1,500 pounds of food to the church. Instead of dropping it off at the proper location, other volunteers said he drove off with it.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

The food was going to feed nearly 200 families a few days before Christmas. Parish Minister Roxi Mork said many families with children were counting on that food.

After news broke about the missing food, several organizations stepped up to help. One of them was Cub Foods and Second Harvest Heartland.

“There’s no question that we would help out this food pantry,” said Mike Siemienas with Cub Foods. “We not only made sure we replenished the 1,500 pounds of food that was lost, but we made sure they got the food that they needed.”

Since Monday, Camden Promise Food Shelf has been receiving a steady stream of donations. Church Pastor Jeff Nehrbass knew the Twin Cities community would respond, but is surprised to see at what level.

“Not only will we be able to meet our promise to provide Christmas meals to those who come on Christmas Eve, but we are in a position now to help those people when we go into those difficult winter months,” said Nehrbass.

The non-profit organization Community Emergency Services not only showed up with a truck of food, but they also brought Christmas presents.

“I’m just filled with joy,” said Nehrbass. “We went from a heartbreak to a Christmas miracle.”

The case against the man who volunteers say took the food has been turned over to the Minneapolis city attorney.


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