A community project that grows vegetables for distribution to hundreds of low-income families has been burglarized.
Thieves stole two tillers, a spare chain saw and other small equipment after breaking into two makeshift storage sheds at the Olympia Kiwanis Food Bank Garden, project co-chairman Don Leaf said.
The theft occurred between 7 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday, he said. The garden is on the 3800 block of 11th Avenue Northwest, just west of the city limits.
Leaf estimated the value of the loss between $2,000 and $3,000. The project filed a report with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office on Monday morning.
Club members have completed most of the planting for the season so the immediate effect of theft is minimal, but they need to have the equipment for tilling in the fall, Leaf said.
“We need to replace it as soon as we can,” he said.
The equipment wasn’t insured, and the project doesn’t have enough cash in reserve to replace all of it, Leaf said.
Leaf said the locks to the sheds had been upgraded after an attempted burglary last month. The burglar or burglars also tried to steal the wood splitter used for another project that provides emergency firewood, but were unable to cut through the chain that secures it, he said.
Last year, the Kiwanis project raised 24,000 pounds of vegetables, including potatoes, onions and green beans, that it provided to the Thurston County Food Bank for distribution to needy families.
Club members have begun erecting a new barn where vegetables can be processed and equipment can be stored. An older barn was torn down to make way for the new one.