Generous strangers step in after thieves steal £2,500 worth of nappies and sanitary products from food bank

The local community has rallied after the essential items were stolen from a food bank (Picture: Caters)

Kind strangers have stepped in to help after thieves stole £2,500 worth of nappies and sanitary products from a food bank.

Staff at the Salford Food Bank Network were left in tears at the weekend when they discovered the theft, but they say they’ve been overwhelmed by the response in the aftermath.

Supermarket Aldi, which made the original donation, has promised to replace all of the stolen goods.

The food bank has also been inundated with calls from people all over the UK eager to help.

The products, which were taken from the Mocha Parade storage unit in Lower Broughton on Friday, were due to be distributed to vulnerable women and families across Salford.

Food bank manager Mark Whittington with some of the replaced goods (Picture: Caters)

Tom Togher, chief officer of Citizens Advice Salford and chair of Salford Foodshare Network, said they discovered the theft on Friday.

“It was a great blow to us,” he said. “It’s not just the goods, one aspect of the project is to measure how much volume was needed.

“We were being scientific about distributing them to the various projects. That’s messed up now so we have to start from scratch.

“I was very depressed about it on Friday and our staff were in tears. They’ve worked very hard on this project and for some time.

“We know people are driven by all sorts of needs so it’s not our place to be judgmental. Aldi have come back to us and said they will resupply us as they were the original donator.

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“Their first response was to say ‘we can help’ which was lovely.

“We’ve had people from all over the country phoning us and asking ‘what can we do? How can we help?’

“We’ve told people they can make personal donations at the Salford Civic Centre or at Gateway centres.

“We’ve had hundreds of people get in touch since we announced what had happened.”

The stolen nappies have been replaced (Picture: Caters)

Salford Food Bank manager Mark Whittington said: “People have responded in lots of different ways.

“We’ve had donations here and at our supermarket collection points. There are also a number of local businesses that have offered to collect items for us.

“We’ve had a huge amount of public support.”

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said he was delighted at the response from the public.

“People in Salford have been appalled that anyone could sink so low as to steal goods destined for those in desperate need,” he said.

“The news that Aldi will kindly replace everything that was stolen is wonderful. They are showing the real spirit of Salford.”

Food bank manager Mark Whittington stands with the donated items (Picture: Caters)

Ruth Doyle, regional managing director at Aldi, said: “It’s important to us to help improve the lives of local people, and we refuse to stand by and let the actions of thieves stop us from doing so.”

Police have launched an investigation and are appealing for anyone with any information to get in touch.

Superintendent Howard Millington from GMP’s Salford borough said: “I have been a police officer for many years, and regularly think that I’ve seen it all.

“The theft of nappies from a food bank, though, that is beyond low and has shocked even the most unshockable of police officers.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 1319, or alternatively call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

To donate to the food bank click HERE.