CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WLNS) — In April, Charlotte’s East Side Food Pantry was vandalized and somebody took a bit too much off the shelves.
Now, the owner says a woman trying to start another pantry is to blame for the missing food.
“They’re building their own pantry but they’re using our food to get it started,” pantry owner, David Howe said.
For the past few weeks, Howe has been trying to figure out how his fully stocked shelves end up nearly empty overnight.
And after finding a note inside, he said he discovered that a woman who had plans to stock another pantry was taking it.
“The food was just disappearing quickly, and come to find out it was being stolen,” Howe said.
Howe said he found notes inside the pantry that claimed it would be closing along with a number to contact.
6 News called the number and a woman, Chris Morris, picked up.
“I put my number up there to let people know that we were relocating the food pantry,” Morris said.
But Howe said that’s not the truth.
“I bought it for a purpose, to benefit our community and I’m going to keep it going. It’s open 24/7, 365 days a year,” he said.
Morris also claims that Howe had someone call her to come and get the food out of the pantry in preparation for another pantry.
“I can go and get it and take it to our storage unity and keep it, so when we do re-open up our new pantry in the next couple of weeks, I can put it in there,” she said.
In the meantime, Morris left her number for those in need to give her a call.
“I left my number so that if people had problems and they needed food I could take it to them.”
Although the food is stored away, Morris said Howe can come and get it at any time.
“I was told not to take the food out there it is in storage and if Mr. Howe wants it, he is more than welcome to come and get it,” she said.
Howe said he had no plans to relocate or close the pantry, and despite this situation he’s hopeful that things will get better.
“We’re getting to the bottom of it, and there’s more food being brought in now, so it’ll be back to normal real soon.”
Morris has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing, and Howe does not believe she is responsible for the pantry’s vandalism.