DETROIT – For the second time in three months, a church on Detroit’s west side is fixing repairs after thieves broke in. Crooks aren’t stealing valuables, but food that’s meant to help the community.

“We serve dinner, dessert and stuff,” said Bishop Hiram Jones, of New Hope Apostolic Church.

Dinner at New Hope is no longer likely thanks to a mess left behind by thieves. The floor is slippery, and someone dropped in through the ceiling to ransack the church.

“As you can see, this cooler is empty,” Jones said.

The essential food items were gone.

“Hot dogs, burgers, buns … and some meats,” Jones said.

The food comes from boxes filled by Jones and other church members. The boxes are provided to needy families each week.

“They’re very familiar with the church because they know where to go,” Jones said. “Yes, very familiar.”

It’s the second time in three months that thieves have broken in. Last time, they dropped into the sanctuary and left the office looking like a mess. But this time they went right to the freezers, wiping out the entire food supply.

“God knows this is wrong, because people need this church, and I’m one of the ones when I (don’t have any), I can come,” said Joyce Jenkins, who relies on the church food boxes.

But with empty freezers, there isn’t a box left for Jenkins to pick up.

“There’s nothing left in the church, so there’s nothing else I can do but try to find another (food source) that can help my needs,” Jenkins said.

Since it’s the second break-in, Jones hopes the thieves realize their theft goes beyond the church walls.

“They’re taking from God’s house,” Jones said. “What belongs to him and his people.”

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