Mobile food pantry vandalized in LaPorte
LA PORTE, Ind. --- “Take a little, give a little.”
It is a saying you will see on signs posted on mobile food pantries throughout the LaPorte community, a resource to ensure residents do not go hungry.
Over the weekend, officials said one of the mobile food pantries located at 1001 Ridge St. was vandalized.
“I was shocked and a little hurt, a little bit angry, but truly disappointed because like I said this is here for the community,” Center Township Trustee, Lisa Pierzakowski said.
The damaged “little pantry” is just one of two mobile pantries throughout the LaPorte community.
The pantries are usually filled up morning and night to make sure people in the area do not go hungry, according to Pierzakowski.
However, over the weekend, someone allegedly set off fireworks inside the pantry, according to Pierzakowski.
“We had someone that decided to place some fireworks inside of our pantry and what food was in there, I guess kind of blew up a little bit,” Pierzakowski said.
The incident came as quite as a surprise to Pierzakowski in such a tight-knit community.
“This is a community that needs this, but if we continue to have vandalism done to it then we’ll have to remove it and find another location for it,” Pierzakowski said.
While people are encouraged to visit the regular pantry during normal weekday hours, the mobile food pantries are situated around the area to ensure nobody goes hungry at any hour of the day or night.
“This is here for the community, and it’s empty as you can see when you pulled up, it was empty,” Pierzakowski said. “And it was filled up this morning so I just put more food in it now and they’ll come back later on tonight and put food in it. I really don’t want to see this disappear from the community when I see it emptied as much as it is.”
If incidents continue to happen, however, the pantry might need to be relocated, according to Pierzakowski.
“I told the community, I said, if this continues, we’ll have to, you know, replace this,” Pierzakowski said. “We’ll have to move it and put it someplace else, but I really like having it here because this is the neighborhood that’s in need of food. I hope we can keep it here and I hope it doesn’t happen again.”
The food availability within the mobile pantries is a group effort from the county, to the local church and even people throughout the community, pitching in so other residents can have food on their plates, according to Pierzakowski.