About £1,200 of food earmarked to start a community food delivery service during the coronavirus crisis has been stolen from a hotel and brasserie in Shropshire.
The Old Vicarage at Worfield, near Bridgnorth, was broken into on Friday night when intruders raided its fridges and freezers of food such as chicken, beef, lamb and fish.
Owner David Blakstad said: "We just can't believe this has happened. Times are really tough for us as a business and we have closed our doors to customers in line with government advice.
"We were planning to start up a community food service on Monday where we would offer residents nearby to order their meals and we would deliver it to their doors, but sadly we are not going to be able to do this.
"The people who have done this have not only stolen from us, but they have taken away the chance for the community to receive this help from us."
Blakstad and head chef Gavin Allan had planned to draw up menus that local residents who were self-isolating or in need of food could have ordered from, which would have been delivered to doorsteps for only the cost of the ingredients.
"It's heartbreaking – we were trying to pay something back to our community, and now it looks like that is not going to be possible," added Allan.
Meanwhile, following the closure of pubs, cafés and restaurants across the country, Blakstad has warned other businesses to be extra vigilant.
"We would never have believed that people could do this," he said. "But this serves as a warning to other business owners, with people stripping food, and now the alcohol sections of supermarkets and shops, our bars and kitchens are a target."