1,000 pounds of turkey, ham intended for the needy stolen

SThe Associated Press
Wednesday November 21, 2001

SAN MATEO — Just in time for Thanksgiving, some 1,000 pounds of frozen turkeys and ham were stolen from a local community services agency that was preparing to distribute the food to needy families. 

“It’s a pretty low-down thing,” said Lt. Bill Curley of the San Mateo Police Department, which is investigating the theft from a freezer at Samaritan House. 

The 19 cases of frozen meats were worth about $1,000 and would have helped feed 500 families, according to Jonah Gensler, Samaritan House associate director. The meat was to be featured in holiday food gift baskets given to 1,200 low-income clients in San Mateo County. 

“One turkey that a child brought to us meant so much to that child, and now it can’t go directly to the family she wanted to help because somebody committed this atrocity,” Gensler said. 

Food donations already were down 20 percent this year, according to Gensler, who expects community supporters to buy replacements for the stolen meats. 

The theft occurred overnight Sunday when a thief or thieves pried open a freezer door at the back of the agency’s lot.