Charity Seeks to Replace Meat After Vandals Unplug Freezer

From Associated Press

A charity in this town north of Stockton is scrambling to replace hundreds of pounds of meat by Christmas Eve after vandals pulled the plug on a freezer, spoiling nearly 600 pounds of ham, chicken, turkey and beef.

Century Youth Ranch Charitable Endeavors has been giving out Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve food baskets at the Golden Era Hotel in nearby Lodi for several years.

Founder Richard Woolstrum purchased meat for the baskets about three weeks ago and stored the food in a freezer behind his Acampo home.


Woolstrum didn’t notice that anything was wrong until Sunday, when he went to get some meat to take to a church in Paloma, a town in the Sierra foothills to the east. Someone had pulled out the electrical plug and coiled it neatly on top of the freezer.

It’s the second time in less than a week that an area charity has lost food intended for the needy.

Thieves broke into a locked, refrigerated trailer in Stockton and stole 552 chickens that the Salvation Army planned to give away.

Stockton residents and businesses have rallied to replace the stolen chickens.

As of Tuesday, the agency had received donations of more than 1,400 chickens. Officials are asking for money, instead of chickens, to help with a $35,000 shortfall the agency faces this year.