New Jersey church pantry's van stolen

The food inside Toni's Kitchen in Montclair, New Jersey, is all ready to go. But delivering it is not as easy as it used to be. Last week, someone stole the van that the charity uses to pick up and distribute their food.

Anne Mernin, the director of Toni's Kitchen, said they need to van to pick up donations from small shops, bakeries, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's. Then they repurpose that food and deliver it to the community.

The van was parked at St. Luke's Episcopal church, which is from where they operate. Surveillance cameras show a man coming out of the pantry, walking over to the van, opening the door, and driving away. The thief also took checks, cash, and other items, the church said.

In the meantime, Toni's Kitchen had to rent a van as well as pay outside drivers to continue the mission. But that has been expensive for an outfit with a big heart yet small funds.

Rev. John Mennell of St. Luke's Episcopal Church said they are blessed with many donors but they still operate on a shoestring budget, so any added expenses hurt their mission.

For nearly 40 years, Toni's Kitchen has used the pantry to give food to those without. The kitchen provided more than 100,000 meals last year. This includes food-filled backpacks to local children whose families are on the verge of hunger.

Church leaders said they are ready to forgive the suspect. They just want their van back to continue to meet the needs of those who count on them.

The church and authorities believe the suspect is someone familiar with the kitchen. They are following up on leads but still need help. If you have information, call Montclair Police.