MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Learning valuable meat had been stolen from one of its giant freezers was bad enough news for the Mid-South Food Bank. What was worse?
"It was a food bank employee," said V.P. of Communications Marcia Wells.
Memphis Police say 40 year-old Mark Bell used his company key to get in after hours.
"He had been with us for more than a year," Wells said. "He was the employee who worked with the volunteers a lot."
Police say Bell worked with four other men Monday night in a scheme to steal beef, ham, and sausage worth at least $3000.
"We have no tolerance for stealing from the food bank, even if it's peanut butter, let alone several hundred pounds of meat products," Wells said.
Police caught the men before they got too far. Unfortunately, the stolen meat was spoiled by the time it was returned.
"The bottom line is food was taken from the warehouse that now cannot be distributed to our agencies and out to hungry people in the Mid-south," Wells said.
"It's just sad," says Meemee Scruggs.
Scruggs said the food bank helped her family through tough times.
"When I was a lot younger, I used to come down here and they'd give us boxes of food," she adds.
Scruggs is among those outraged an employee would steal from those in need.
"And anybody else who had something to do with it should probably do some time to think about it," she said
The food bank considers the vast majority of its employees to be compassionate and hard-working people not at all interested in helping themselves.
Mark Bell was terminated immediately from his job at the food bank.
You can make a donation at midsouthfoodbank.org or by dropping off items at 239 S. Dudley Street.