THE VILLAGE, Okla. (KFOR) – Vandals have once again struck The Village’s community food pantry. Overseer and Councilwoman Cathy Cummings wants to know who did it, but more importantly, she wants it to stop.
Cummings established the Pine Pantry in 2018. Pine Pantries are small food closets that each community self-sustains, taking from it when in need and also donating to it for the good of others. The residents of The Village are calling the vandalism of their Pine Pantry unacceptable.
“Usually, what’s been happening is – especially with canned products – is they pop open the lid and they just pour it all over the place,” Cummings explained.
The pantry, located at Andrew Johnson Elementary at 1810 Sheffield Road, was vandalized in this manner back in March and also this past Tuesday.
Cummings came to clean it up.
“It was horrific,” she said. “There were ants crawling all over it. Flies everywhere. I literally had to put bug spray on just to start cleaning.”
The surrounding community is also upset.
“I felt really crushed that somebody was ignorant enough to just spew the goods off on the shelf,” said Rick Ramo, who lives next to the elementary school.
He calls the pantry a life-saver.
“In the times that there is no money and there is no food, it has kept us from starving to death,” he said.
He and others now have their eyes peeled, determined to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Cummings shared her theory.
“What i think is happening is I think it’s a group of bored teenagers, to be completely honest with you,” she said. “I don’t want to see anyone arrested or put in jail or anything like that. I just want the parents who may be responsible for these children to know how important this Pine Pantry is to The Village and to anyone that is in need.”
Cummings has put forward a couple of solutions to the problem. She’s asked the elementary school to put a security camera by the pantry. She’s also asked the city manager to have someone start patrolling the community to keep watch.