Mennonite Central Committee’s annual mobile meat canning operation was robbed last week, setting the operation back about $1,000.
According to police reports, sometime before 6 a.m. last Wednesday, Jan. 20, thieves broke into the mobile meat canner, parked outside The Depot, 1013 Division St., and stole copper tubing and electrical cords.
Copper is periodically stolen, according to police, because of its value as scrap metal.
Hundreds of volunteers have been canning meat in Goshen since Jan. 19 and will continue to do so until Friday, January 29. The mobile meat canner consists of a big trailer with pressure cookers. Inside workers fill and seal cans.
According to Jennifer Steiner, communications coordinator for M.C.C.’s Great Lakes Conference, it costs around $122,000 to purchase the 77,000 pounds of turkey and for operational and equipment costs. All of these funds are provided by donations.
“The robbery didn’t add a ton of money to the cost, but it was enough to make a difference,” said Steiner.
After the robbery, the total amount needed rose to $123,000.
As of the morning of Wednesday, Januray 27, approximately $56,000 of the necessary amount had been raised as reported by Steiner. While the volunteer support has been vast, the funds needed to pay for the operation has been lacking.
“A lot of money is coming in to M.C.C., but most of it is going specifically to Haiti and not the meat canner,” she said.
The cans of meat will provide nourishment and nutrition to people in countries all over the world, including Haiti.
M.C.C. has sent out a mobile meat canner ever since 1946, according to its Web site. Goshen is just one stop for this year’s four-person crew. By the end of the session (which runs from October through April), the crew will have visited 13 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The next stop for the meat canner is Berlin, Ohio.