CAMDEN, N.J. - A local kitchen that gives back to people in need finds itself the victim of a crime and, suddenly, feeding people for Thanksgiving and beyond is more difficult.
"It’s just sickening that it happened," remarked Cathedral Kitchen chef Danny Satterfield.
The staff at Cathedral Kitchen, in Camden, which provides hundreds of meals daily to people in need, is stunned someone stole the catalytic converters from two vans it relies on to deliver food to city shelters and halfway houses.
"It’s Thanksgiving and we should be helping each other, rather than taking from each other," Satterfield continued.
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A food delivery driver, getting ready for his morning run, realized something was wrong when he started the van and it made a loud noise. A check of the surveillance cameras showed the thief making his move around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
"He came over the fence, went under the vehicles, spent an hour cutting them off and threw them over the fence and then went back over and got picked up," Executive Director Carrie Kitchen-Santiago explained. "It’s disappointing and I really hope they catch this person."
Kitchen-Santiago said due to supply chain issues, it’s going to be at least a month before the vans are repaired and back on the road.
"It’s just gonna mean more strain on the staff and, if we have to rent something, on the organization," Kitchen-Santiago continued. "We are all here because we are passionate about the mission. It’s just an added stress."
Cathedral Kitchen says it’s been a rough two years because of the pandemic, but it has not closed once. Despite what happened, the organization says it will find a way to get the food out to the folks who need it.