VILLAINS have caused misery in the runup to Christmas by targeting the West Somerset Food Cupboard.

Although nothing was taken on both occasions, vandals have caused considerable damage to the charity’s base at St Michael the Archangel Church, in Alcombe.

A window was smashed in the first attempt last Tuesday (December 10) and, on Monday evening (December 16), thieves tried their luck again, smashing the front-door window and leaded light on both occasions.

Christine Payne, co-ordinator, said: “It really is just so sad and upsetting.

“We now have to pay out or pay the excess on our insurance – money that could have been used to help feed the hungry.

“If whoever tried to break in needed food, all they had to do was come into the Food Cupboard and ask for help.

“We would have given them immediate emergency supplies and referred them to the Advice Bureau for assessment so that they, too, could be given a food parcel.

“We don’t know if it was vandals or if it was done under desperate circumstances but they don’t understand the sheer damage and stress they’ve caused.”

The West Somerset Food Cupboard distributes parcels of food weekly to those who need help around West Somerset.

They have made-up more than 700 food parcels in the past year.

Volunteers at the Food Cupboard have been busy making up 200 boxes for families this Christmas.

The Rev Stephen Stuckes, of St Michael’s, said: “It’s terrible, especially after last week, for us to come in and find another attempted break-in.

“It is particularly sad if it was done out of desperation for food but we don’t know if that is the case or not.

“We’re now facing a new insurance claim and it’s distressing when we’re trying to do something to help the community and in the week before Christmas.”

Donations to the Food Cupboard are always welcome and can be made at the church; organisers say even just one donated item can make all the difference to someone.