The L’Orignal Food Bank and Thrift Store has a theft problem.

Twice during the past week, donated thrift store items were taken from the drop-off area outside of the food bank at 261 Longueuil Street. By Monday, October 3, the food bank was reporting on social media that it had become a daily problem.

According to food bank manager Lorie Turpin, when there is not enough space in the donation bins for thrift store items, people leave boxes and bags outside the bins.

On two occasions, security cameras detected people at night opening boxes and bags and taking donated items. Turpin said the theft of thrift store donations means less merchandise may be sold there, which means less revenue to purchase food for the food bank.

“If you’re stealing from the thrift store, you’re stealing from the food bank,” Turpin said.

When boxes and bags of donated items are opened outside, food bank volunteers also must clean up whatever is left.

“Volunteers have to go through these things,” said Turpin.

Anyone in need of assistance from the L’Orignal Food Bank and Thrift Store is encouraged to contact the organization instead of taking donated items from outside the building.

“If you need something, call me,” Turpin said.

The L’Orignal Food Bank and Thrift Store is open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To contact the food bank, call 613-675-1999 or email [email protected]. The facility serves all residents of L’Orignal and Longueuil.

Items donated to the L’Orignal Food Bank are sold in its thrift store and the revenue is used to purchase food for clients. Photo: Reid Masson