A woman is set to appear in court after a shop selling discounted food and household goods to people in need was burgled.
Bosses from MiCommunity in Duke Street, Margate, woke to find someone had broken into their store and made off with merchandise.
It was the third time the business has been burgled this year and caused shop director John Finnegan to question whether it was worth carrying on with the business.
Police arrested 32-year-old Natalie Lindsay of Dalby Square, Cliftonville, Margate on Friday and she was charged the following day with the burglary.
The shop was broken into between 7am and 8am on Tuesday and a number of food and drink items, as well as children's toys, had been swiped.
Lindsay was further charged in connection with offences reported to have taken place on Thursday, including theft of alcohol from a store in Margate, burglary of a purse containing cash and bank cards from a building, and two counts of bank card fraud.
She has been remanded in custody and will appear at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court today.
Shop director Mr Finnegan told KentOnline last week: “My first reaction was, ‘What’s the point? We’re not going to defeat them’.
“It’s going to take a little while to recuperate the stock to the level it was at before the break-in, but the community has been very good with donations.
“People have been coming forward to say they’re going to do a crown fund. So, with luck, touch wood, we’re going to be okay.”
The shop, which is staffed by volunteers, provides low-price food and household goods for people on benefits and low incomes who may be struggling with the daily costs of living.
It will now have to find the money to replace the stolen stock at a time when soaring energy bills and inflation are already putting a strain on independent businesses.
Data from the British retail consortium and market research group NielsenIQ showed a 10.5% rise in fresh food prices.
The use of food banks has also increased, with charity the Trussel Trust reporting an 81% increase from this time five years ago.