Dallas charity, “The Hunger Busters,” has been forced to suspend operations after a major burglary left the organization out tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and materials. The charity, dedicated to providing meals for thousands of students in the Dallas Independent School District (ISD), has been a beacon of hope for elementary school children for the last 12 years. However, a recent crime has dealt a harsh blow to The Hunger Busters’ efforts, with the fallout expected to continue throughout the summer.
The significance of The Hunger Busters’ mission can’t be overstated. With nearly 3,500 children across 11 different elementary schools in the West, South, and Oak Cliff regions of Dallas relying on the charity for fresh and nutritious meals, the organization’s contributions to the community can’t be ignored. Unfortunately, a recent incident has threatened the organization’s ability to continue delivering on its mission.
Dr. Latame Phillips, the leader of The Hunger Busters, first detected something was amiss on a Monday morning when that week’s inventory of food had spoiled. Upon closer investigation, the charity discovered that it had been the victim of a burglary. “Every screw was missing, and a complex network of copper pipes had vanished without a trace,” shared Dr. Phillips. The organization’s air conditioning unit and valuable copper materials were among the items stolen, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
The burglary of The Hunger Busters’ equipment has had a severe impact on the organization’s ability to continue providing meals for students. Over $10,000 worth of food had to be disposed of as a direct result of the loss. “Picture the scenario: a child, ill-equipped with social and emotional coping mechanisms to express, ‘Hey, I have not been fed adequately’, ” said Dr. Phillips, as he expressed concern for children who depend on the meals provided by The Hunger Busters. Regular meals from the organization have been known to improve attentiveness, reduce restlessness and increase test scores, making the loss that much more devastating.
Despite the setback, Meals on Wheels and a local food truck business organized to step in and feed the students during the last week of school. The Hunger Busters is a non-profit charity and has suffered financially due to the robbery. In addition to losing equipment, much needed time and resources originally intended for preparing and delivering summer meals will have to be allocated towards replacing and repairing equipment.
Furthermore, the burglars stole three valuable pieces of memorabilia, worth an estimated $3,000, which had been donated to raise money for the charity. The police have no leads on the suspect as of yet. Dr. Phillips believes the thieves knew what they were doing and precisely what to target. With no corporate sponsorship or state funding, the burglary has put the organization in dire circumstances.
“The Hunger Busters” continues to be in need of assistance as it works to recover from this unfortunate incident. Those interested in learning more about the charity’s mission and in providing support can visit their website. The community is encouraged to come together to aid The Hunger Busters in their noble endeavor to help students fight hunger.
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