Thefts could shutter Porch Pantry of Peoria

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PEORIA (WEEK) – The Porch Pantry of Peoria is ready to shut their doors after security cameras were stolen from their front steps on July 4.

The organization gives food and other necessities to anyone in the community, but that could all come to an end since this is not the first time they say people have stolen from them.

Charles Martin and his wife Kelli started offering items behind the tarp when the COVID-19 pandemic began. They allowed anyone to come up to their front porch and take food, clothes or any other donated item.

“Since we started this, leaf blower, a couple of mowers, a couple of gas cans, coolers, we’ve had plants taken, and of course the security cameras were taken just a couple of days ago… I just think that there’s people out there that are going to take more than what they need”

Charles Martin – Vice President for Porch Pantry of Peoria

Martin said losing the cameras to theft might make them shut down for good in the West Bluff; an area he called a food desert.

“I’m the only food pantry on this side of town… If we were to shut down it would cripple a lot of people because there’s a lot of people that come here everyday.”

Charles Martin – Vice President for Porch Pantry of Peoria

Audrey Kirkpatrick was one of those people. She found herself homeless back in September of 2020; a time when she said she was ready to take her own life before the Porch Pantry helped her.

“They brought me food and people just rallied around me… It would be a horrible thing to see them go.”

Audrey Kirkpatrick – helped by the Porch Pantry of Peoria

Martin said they had thought about reduced access and hours, despite the current time set up being what people loved most.

“They were able to come up here anytime during the day or anytime during the night and get stuff they needed.”

Charles Martin – Vice President for Porch Pantry of Peoria

Martin added that if the Porch Pantry continues to stay open, they are hoping to move to a new permanent location.

“If we were meant to keep this open there’s going to be something that keeps us open.”

Charles Martin – Vice President for Porch Pantry of Peoria

The organization has filed to become a non-profit.

The post Thefts could shutter Porch Pantry of Peoria appeared first on WEEK.

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