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Choose food stations over crime — charity

The Eliza DoLittle Society is urging people in need of food to seek help rather than resort to theft.

Executive director Carole Paynter spoke to The Royal Gazette after reading about recent court cases where defendants said they stole because they were hungry.

“There are so many people who are unemployed, who can't afford to buy food, not just the homeless, but people who've lost their job,” Ms Paynter said.

“I'd like people to know that those who are in need of food and can't afford to buy it, we are here to help them. We try to make sure that no one is without food.”

According to Ms Paynter, one court case that stood out involved a Pembroke man who pleaded guilty in May to stealing an electric drill and a bolt set to sell for food.

After admitting the two counts, he told the magistrate that he only stole the items because he was hungry.

Another case saw a Pembroke man steal $50 worth of meat from Arnold's Market in Pembroke and a further matter involved a homeless man stealing meat from the Sandys MarketPlace. The appearance of such offenders has been a frequent theme at Magistrates' Court over the past few years.

Ms Paynter pointed to feeding stations across the island, with breakfast available at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity on Mondays and Thursdays.

Other churches also offer similar services, she said, stressing that “there's somewhere to eat every day”.

“There is no need for people to steal food,” she added.

The Eliza DoLittle feeding programme was created in 2002. Food is collected from donors all over the island and distributed to social service programmes.

“We provide the cooked food to the feeding centres and they have the volunteers who serve the food,” Ms Paynter said.

The charity also assists individuals in need of food by giving them groceries from the food bank.

“People are interviewed to see what their need is and if their need is real, we'll give them a bag of groceries,” Ms Paynter explained. The Eliza DoLittle Society is located in Warwick, opposite Warwick Lanes and next to the Warwick Esso Tigermarket, and is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm.

Eliza DoLittle Society executive director Carole Paynter. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published June 14, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 14, 2016 at 9:06 am)

Choose food stations over crime — charity

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