SALTSBURG (KDKA) – Boy Scout Troop 101 in Saltsburg collects hundreds of bags of food for the less fortunate every year during the holiday season.

However, this year, organizers say the food was stolen before the Boy Scouts were able to come around and pick up the donations.

It’s a tradition in the Saltsburg community. Everyone donates bags of food and leaves it on their front porches for the scouts to collect. It all goes to the local food bank.

Officials say they believe thieves grabbed the bags of food before the scouts were able to pick it up.

Now, the food bank is empty as the Boy Scouts could deliver just eight bags of food. It’s far less than the hundreds of bags that are usually brought in during the donation drive.

“The unemployment rate is high around here, and these people count on this,” said Julie Dunmire, a community fundraiser. “A lot of elderly people count on this food, and it’s gone. How are we going to get it back? It’s a shame.”

Authorities say another car was seen driving around the local streets.

“There was an older model blue Taurus driving up and down the street, driven by a male with three boys in the car,” said Elizabeth Rocco, of Saltsburg Boro Council. “The car was full of food.”

Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts and their parents are devastated.

“In a small community like Saltsburg, it’s very hard to come by donations because a lot of the community uses the food bank to begin with,” said Kristine Mangery, the scout leader.

The community is now searching for answers.

“If you needed it, I completely understand,” added Dunmire. “But all you really needed to do was ask, and we’d of given you whatever you needed.”

The police in Saltsburg are investigating the theft of the donated food.

In the meantime, a new collection has been started. This time, instead of leaving the food on front porches, they’ve set up a donation center at the Saltsburg Boro Office.

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