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World News

Christian foodbanks condemn stolen food donations

by Lydia Davies

The campaign group Everybody Eats, established to combat food poverty in the UK, has taken responsibility for stealing food from a Marks & Spencer store in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, as part of a protest against the rising cost of living.

The activists detailed their protest on social media, underscoring their commitment to direct action against food poverty.

Following the shoplifting event, which occurred on 14 April and has been acknowledged by Greater Manchester Police, the group distributed the stolen items to local food banks.

Some members of Everybody Eats wore Robin Hood costumes during the act, symbolising their mission to redistribute resources. No arrests have been linked to this incident thus far.

The group articulated their rationale with a public statement and accompanying visuals on social media: "Today we took food from an M&S in Manchester without paying for it. The food will now be distributed straight to people in the community as well as local food banks. We cannot sit by as we and our friends, our families, our neighbours starve."

In response to the idea of stealing in order to donate to food banks, Dominic Stevenson from the Trussell Trust, which oversees food banks nationwide, told us in a statement: “We would never condone shoplifting and would advise all food banks in our network to decline any donations that they knew to be stolen. Food banks receive donations through a range of different mechanisms; therefore, tracking the origin of items that they receive can be difficult. We have alerted food banks in the area to this group and the heightened risk of stolen items being donated.”

Rev Canon Lynda Newman of the Parish of Neath in Wales helps run their Church's food bank. She told Premier Christian News that she disagrees with the 'Robin Hood' concept, saying: "I have a real issue with this, to be honest...even though they want to draw attention to themselves, really it's the shopkeepers themselves who are suffering."

"There are other ways of drawing attention to the plight of food hunger,

"It's radical, and I don't know whether it's the right radical."

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