OPA-LOCKA (CBSMiami) – At VFW Post 5693 in Opa-locka every Friday, Make-A-Wish Veterans feeds hundreds of vets and family. But not this Friday. Not after somebody broke down doors and breached a steel gate overnight.READ MORE: Parkland Mom Remembers, Honors Memory Of Hero Son, Peter Wang, Who Sacrificed Self To Save Others
The thieves made off with more than 2,000 pounds of canned food, cereal and other dry foods. They broke into three locked freezers, stealing hundreds of pounds of meat.
The kitchen was cleaned of its appliances and utensils right down to the plastic forks. This week, stomachs look to go empty.
“We do not have any food, so we cannot feed this Friday,” said Melinda Buford, who runs the Make-A-Wish Veterans program.
Veteran and volunteer Adrian Witherspoon arrived at the facility today with a truck filled with perishable and nonperishable food, all for naught.
“We got a truck load of stuff that we just picked up, and we don’t have anywhere to lock it up for food distribution this Friday,” Witherspoon said.
Veteran Opa-locka police officer Luis Serrano was lifting fingerprints off of a freezer, and commented on those who stole from the vets.READ MORE: Former BSO Employee Julio Chang Faces Charges In Capitol Attack
“This is cruelty. This is cruel,” Serrano said. “They don’t think. They are selfish, pure and simple.”
The thieves ransacked every desk, every drawer, and stole every computer and flat screen used to help veterans find counseling, housing, clothing and other assistance.
“Every time you turn around someone is harming our veterans,” Buford said. “I have been doing this for 15 years now, and enough is enough!” Buford exclaimed.
“I really need some kind of assistance for these veterans, I don’t want to close this office up,” Buford said, her eyes tearing.
But for now the program is closed, and food and financial aid for veterans left in a vacuum.
The group needs new computers, monitors, about $1,000 in cash that was taken, and new freezers and refrigerators to replace those that were damaged or destroyed, and then food to put in them.MORE NEWS: Florida Fire Rescue Chief Fired For Not Forcing Firefighter Vaccinations
Anyone who would like to help can reach the Make-A-Wish Veterans organization at (786) 260-8410 or at (786) 237-5649.