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Thieves take turkeys from New Bedford pantry

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More than 300 pounds of holiday food, including 20 turkeys, were stolen from the food pantry of a New Bedford church last week, leaving a shortage just days before Thanksgiving, police and church officials said Sunday. Burglars broke into the outside refrigerator of Saint Anthony of Padua Church last Saturday and took about $600 worth of food, including the turkeys, eggs, and 150 pounds of cheese, said New Bedford police and Joel Cosmo, Saint Anthony’s sexton. The community has made donations to help but the pantry remains in dire need of food for Thanksgiving, Cosmo said. “We serve up to 700 families every two weeks,” Cosmo said. “It’s important for us to make sure our supply is not too drained, especially this time of year when the need is higher than any other time.” The church will also have to fix the industrial refrigerator since the thieves ripped the bolts out and rendered the insulation useless, Cosmo said. “They really did some extensive damage,” he said. To donate to Saint Anthony of Padua, call the church’s rectory at 508-993-1691.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JaclynReiss
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