No charges will be filed following an incident Nov. 19 in which a volunteer for a charity food pantry in the city mistakenly took donations intended for another charity food pantry from a donation site, Streetsboro police announced Nov. 23.
The donations included "whole cooked turkeys, gravy, pumpkin pies, green beans, stuffing" and other fixings.
"All you had to do was heat it up," said Malinda Davis of Streetsboro Christian Cupboard, estimating the dinners included more than $1,000 worth of food. "Everything was perishable, everything was about timing, that's why we were rushing to pick it up."
Streetsboro police Lt. Darin Powers said a "thorough investigation" determined that a volunteer from the Streetsboro Community Pantry accidentally took 13 turkey dinners collected by Valvoline Oil on Route 14 -- dinners that were promised to the Streetsboro Christian Cupboard.
"Volunteers for the Community Pantry made the mistake of thinking the dinners were meant for their organization, and it was determined that there was no criminal intent when the dinners were taken, only a misunderstanding," said Powers.
The dinners were handed out and served to families in need, though not the ones intended. Last-minute donations to the Streetsboro Christian Cupboard made up for the lost dinners, according to Davis.
The volunteer who mistakenly took the dinners contacted the Streetsboro Gateway News Nov. 23. Asking that his name not be used, he said once he was told that police were investigating the incident as a possible crime, he went to the police department and got the matter sorted out.
He expressed thanks to the Streetsboro Police Department, and officer Jason Sackett in particular, for their "patience and professionalism" in handling the matter. He also said he did not want the incident to reflect badly on the Streetsboro Community Food Pantry, which he said has "35 or 40 dedicated volunteers who work year-round and donate their heart and soul to the cause."
The Streetsboro Christian Cupboard and the Streetsboro Community Food Pantry used to be a single group, but parted ways about four years ago.
Powers said it was fortunate that the dinners still made it to the tables of families in need of a meal on the holiday, and "the donations to all food pantries have increased."
The Streetsboro Christian Cupboard reported Nov. 21 it had recouped the donations several times over. That includes a total of $600 in donations from the unions representing Streetsboro police officers, firefighters and street department workers to the Christian Cupboard to help replace the turkey dinners. Valvoline, Bob Evans and private citizens also stepped up to help, Davis said Nov. 21.
The Streetsboro Community Food Pantry, a collaboration between several churches, can be reached through the Streetsboro United Methodist Church, 8940 Route 43, at 330-626-4393.
The Streetsboro Christian Cupboard accepts donations 365 days a year. It is located in the McMichael Office Building at 9307 Route 43, and can be reached by calling 330-626-3244.
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