Birmingham Central Foodbank has had a van used for the delivery of supplies stolen from the car park of its base in the city centre.
Based at Birmingham Christian Centre in the Ladywood area, the foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network.
The van is used to deliver parcels of food to vulnerable people during the winter months. It was purchased two years ago with a generous donation that was match-funded by a local charity, Ladywood Community First.
Foodbank manager Patricia White said that the theft had come at the busiest time of year for the charity. "As the weather gets colder the our referrals double and the van is often used to pick up food donations and to deliver parcels to the elderly, heavily pregnant and the vulnerable who need emergency food but are unable to venture out during the very cold winter months," she said.
The theft has caused outrage locally, with many taking to social media to express their feelings. The charity has received many offers of support since news of the theft spread. White said: "We've had numerous members of the general public kindly offer to deliver food parcels for us and we've even been contacted by a Smethwick based commercial van hire company offering us a vehicle for a week free of charge. We've been absolutely blown away by the response."
The charity has appealed to members of the public to look out for the van – registration number YX55 WTO – and to let the police know if they see it.