The Farm Centre had the majority of its green pepper stolen from its Legacy Garden Monday night, according to general manager of the association Phil Ferraro.
"Virtually our entire crop was taken from us," said Ferraro.
Ferraro said several hundred peppers were stolen from the garden, the majority of which would have gone to various local charities.
"They were really just coming into fruition where we could have started harvesting them," he said.
"]It's] demoralizing for the staff that works all summer growing those things," said Ferraro, who's concerned the theft will discourage volunteers. "I think we're just really dismayed right now."
'No need to steal'
"We've always made it a policy that if people want to come help us grow the food, we'd give them food to take home.," said Ferraro. "There's really no need to steal."
This is not the first time the Farm Centre has been robbed this year.
In July, someone broke into the tool shed and stole a bicycle, tool bag with tools, propane tank and a weed trimmer.
Ferraro said there have also been previous green pepper thefts.
"It seems over the past few years that green peppers have been hit by someone or some people every year. But this year it's gotten to be really extreme."
New security measures
Staff at the Farm Centre are now looking into heightening security around the Legacy Garden.
"When people start taking what are really equivalent to crates and baskets of food, it's an issue that we need to figure out how to deal with," said Ferraro.
There are already lights and camera installed around the tool shed, but Ferraro said he's concerned about the possible expense of installing more equipment around the almost nine acre garden.
"It's unfortunate if it comes to having to do that, it just means that money that would go into paying labour or buying tools or plants and seed for growing food, is going to security measures instead," he said.
He also said that staff are considering hiring overnight security to watch over the garden and the few peppers they have left.
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