An East Bay church's food pantry van that was donated to the church by the city of San Leandro was stolen Thursday morning.
The thief took the van out of the parking lot at All Saints Episcopal Church in San Leandro around 5:30 a.m. and police have not yet located it.
The food pantry at the church has been offering free groceries for 11 years. The van was gifted to the church last June after it was retired from use by the city.
The church pastor, Rev. Justin Cannon, said he’s heartbroken but is remaining positive.
“Our food pantry is one expression of that love as we seek to feed the hungry, just as Christ did,” he said. “It breaks my heart that someone would steal a food pantry van from a church.”
Cannon did say that the church would welcome a van if someone has one they can lend to distribute food.
The coordinator of the food pantry, Tom Breckenridge, said the theft will not stop the pantry from supplying food to the community.
“This won’t stop us from feeding those in need,” he said. “We will still hold our food pantry with modified protocols as we follow CDC and County Health Department recommendations in this time of pandemic. We serve people already living on the margins. They can continue to count on us.”
The stolen van is a white Ford E-350 XL Super Duty. The license plate is 8NPM513 and the van has the number 32 on the back with scuff marks on the driver side door by the handle.