Saturday, 2:15 PM
Waltham food pantry to burglars: just ask, don't break in
By Globe Staff
Officials at a Salvation Army food pantry in Waltham have a message for the thieves who are breaking in and stealing bags of food: just ask for help.
"The Army's mission is to aid all those in need," Salvation Army Captain Johnson Germain said in a statement. "The Waltham food pantry stands ready to help everyone who requests assistance. ... We can help and we want to help. We encourage people to come in and speak with us."
Someone broke into the pantry five times last month. Salvation Army officials say it's the latest evidence that residents are being hit hard in the economic downturn.
The burglar or burglars each time stole several prepared bags of food, including cereal and canned meat.
The food pantry serves about 50 people a day, with another 40 to 150 eating meals there, the officicials said.
Beatrice Pawoh, who helps run the pantry, said she has seen a spike in requests for assistance, with many coming from the suburbs along Route 2.
Anyone can visit the pantry's soup kitchen. To be eligible for the pantry services, people must provide a photo ID and proof of income.
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