Char-Koosta News 

HOT SPRINGS — Sometimes you just get a bit slacked jawed when you hear about how low some people will go. A case in point is the Hot Springs Tribal Senior Citizens Center break-in last week. Burglars broke into the Senior Center and absconded hundreds of pounds of pork, beef and chicken. Also taken were a TV and $100.

The food items were used for the senior meals program in the small community. The Tribal Senior Center prepares meals on Tuesday and Thursday each week for the community seniors, as well as holiday meals. 

The theft caused tears of sadness for the senior meals program manager Linda Landrum. The community and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes response to the theft turned those saddened tears into tears of joy. 

“The thieves stole a whole bunch of meat,” Landrum said, adding that she suspects that two people were involved in the break-in and theft. The theft happened after the Tuesday meals and Landrum had a rude awakening when she went into the Tribal Senior Center to prepare the Thursday meals. “I was greeted by empty freezers.”

Landrum said a local person recently donated a pig that was butchered and added more than 200 pounds of various cuts and ground meat to the meal preparation inventory. Also taken were several packages of prepared meal ingredients for senior citizens to take home and cook.

Due to the coronavirus the Tribal Senior Center has been preparing pick-up meals in lieu of in-center meals. “It’s just grab-and-go meals now,” she said, adding that the take home packaged ingredients are vital to fill in for the days the center doesn’t prepare meals. 

Landrum said the Thanksgiving meal is still a go but it will be the much less personal grab-and-go version. 

Luckily, they will have ingredients for the grab-and-go meals including Thanksgiving, thanks to the giving of the Hot Springs community as well as non-community folks, and CSKT. 

“We have received so much support and offers to help us out,” Landrum said, adding that a lot of support came by folks learning about the thievery on Facebook. “We’ve had donation offers from locals and even people in Washington and Oregon. I am so thankful for all the offers of help. It is very humbling, and I am grateful to all of them. I haven’t shed so many happy tears in a long, long time. Thank all of you for that.”

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