Lithia Springs, GA – Arsonists ignite donated food at church; Sprinkler system contains fire

A Georgia church is asking for food donations after an unknown number of people broke into its gym, started a fire and ruined donated food. The incident was reported last Saturday at the Lithia Springs Church of God, according to the Douglas County School System. The church’s Gift of Love ministry had collected food intended to feed thousands of students in need over spring break. Instead, a group of vandals tagged the gym with gang graffiti and mixed chemicals in a trash can to start the fire, a district official said on Facebook. They also made themselves a meal before dousing all the tables with food on them with the chemical mixture, school authorities said.

The church’s sprinkler system contained the fire, but not before it destroyed enough food for 459 students to eat for nine days in 21 Douglas County schools. Also lost was a special donation of boxed meals for 2,000 students at four additional county schools that have a high number of students on free and reduced lunch, the school district reported. Anyone who wants to help restore the donations is asked to bring them to the church at 3900 Veterans Memorial Highway by Thursday, when the items need to be delivered. Needed donations include canned meats, pasta, soups, instant oatmeal and grits, cereal packs, Ramen noodles and packaged snacks For more information, call Brenda Kirk at the Gift of Love at (770) 672-4707.

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