Galesburg pantry burglarized and trashed, will reopen Monday

Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 4:01 PM CDT
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GALESBURG, Illinois (KWQC) - Thousands of dollars worth of inventory was stolen from a pantry in Galesburg on Tuesday. Volunteers who run the Blessing Box Depot say a group of people took inventory and trashed the space. The pantry provides free food, clothes, and other items to those in need. Every Monday they serve a hot meal.

After serving a meal on May 3, they say they locked the doors and left. The next day they say a group of people came in, stole items, and left the building a mess.

“I was hurt and crushed. When you walk in and see something that you worked so hard on and it helps so many people every week and everything is just destroyed and taken, and for what?” says Champ Coleman, a volunteer at the Blessing Box Depot.

The pantry serves about 150 people at every hot meal. They were forced to close their doors temporarily after the incident.

“People haven’t been eating on those few days that we haven’t been here and so we want to make sure we aren’t letting our people down,” says volunteer Diane Crock.

The Galesburg community is making sure their neighbors are supported while pantry volunteers and residents clean up the damage.

“The amount of people reaching out to us has just been unbelievable. Our community has been so helpful helping out and pitching in,” says Coleman.

Venmo, Cash App, and physical donations from the community have already been donated back to the depot.

“That’s a beautiful thing to sit back and watch and know that you are making a difference in your community. These are the people that you see everyday. You are helping them out. You are putting a smile on their face. It’s going to be a great build on from what it was, it’s going to be a blessing,” Coleman says.

The Blessing Box Depot will be open again on Monday, May 10 for a hot meal from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for those who are in need. The pantry is volunteer run and you do not need to give personal information to receive food or other items. If you would like to donate to the effort, the Venmo handle is @downtowndepot and the Cash App handle is $downtowndepot.

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