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November 29. 2013 8:38PM

Donors replace food pantry's 15 stolen turkeys -- with 30

MANCHESTER — The public responded with thousands of dollars in financial donations and double the number of turkeys stolen from a church food pantry this week.

"The people were very, very generous," the Rev. John Bucchino of Blessed Sacrament Parish said Friday. "It really touched people's hearts over what happened, especially being around Thanksgiving time."

One or more people stole 15 turkeys collected for a Thanksgiving food-giveaway as well as two freezers full of meat and other staples from the Saint Anthony's Food Pantry, a stand-alone building behind Blessed Sacrament on Elm Street.

About 30 turkeys were donated.

One woman "was so moved by it, she was going to eat turkey. She said, 'I don't need it. Someone needs it more than I do,'" said Bucchino, who didn't yet have a total for the amount of money donated.

"In the long run, we made out," he said. "What I said, Good always overcomes evil. That's an expression of that."

Whoever broke into the pantry pushed in an air conditioning unit to gain entry. After discovering the missing food Monday, a pantry worker spotted a man and woman, between 50 and 60 years old, trying to push in the air conditioner, which had been reinstalled. The worker scared off the two people.

Police said Friday they have not made any arrests.

The New Hampshire Food Bank earlier this week said it would help to replace at least some of the stolen meat.

mcousineau@unionleader.com


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