Tri-State church's food pantry robbed of almost everything - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Tri-State church's food pantry robbed of almost everything

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The pastor of a Tri-State church says she's shocked after someone raided and nearly cleaned out the church's food pantry.

Chandler United Methodist Church holds a food bank once a week. They stock their pantry to give to those in need in Warrick County.

On Wednesday, they made an unpleasant discovery.

They got ready to start serving and realized most of the shelves and freezers had been wiped clean. 

Tammy Fowler, who runs the church's food pantry, came in prepared to open the doors, like she does every week. However, she said things looked different.

"We had been robbed," Fowler said.

The shelves that were just fully stocked were now empty. Frozen foods that were ready to be given to families in need were gone. 

"It's heartbreaking," Christena Poehlein, the church's pastor, said. "They have taken food from families that we could serve."

Police believe someone, or someones, broke through the pantry door.

"We pray that they can find peace with what they've done," Poehlein said.

Everything in the pantry, from bottled water to mac and cheese, is bought by volunteers using money donated by members of the church. 

Fowler and Poehlein say the theft was devastating, but believe it's not part of their mission to hold grudges. 

"I want these people to know that we love them and forgive them," Poehlein said.

Despite an emotional start to the day, the two say there was a happy ending. 

Even after losing hundreds of dollars of food, they still had just enough to help the 43 people who came searching for something to eat. 

"I think that was a God-given blessing," Fowler said.

Chandler police say they're currently investigating the case and ask anyone with information to report it. 

The church's food bank is open every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. They also have a clothing bank every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. Chandler residents are allowed to come once a month.

To be served, you must show identification. 

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