A shocking theft has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for people in need across the state this Christmas.

Brimbank community groups, schools, corporations and a political party have rallied in support after groceries for the poor and homeless valued at more than $3000 were stolen from a St Albans church.

An Anglicare Victoria food bank volunteer arrived at the shed at St Alban the Martyr Anglican Church early last week to discover a chain to the shed had been cut and groceries including bread, milk, cheese, pasta and tinned foods had been stolen.

Volunteer Garnet Johnson described the theft as a “kick in the guts”.

“It’s shocking … not just for us, the volunteers, but for the people who come along and really don’t have much at all,” he said.

But thanks to donations from the Brimbank Bicycle Education Centre, Coles, SPC, St Albans Meadows Primary School, Caulfield Grammar, the Liberal Party and Top Cat Security, who will upgrade security at the church’s shed, the church has come out on top by a lot more than it lost.

“The response has been absolutely fantastic,” Mr Johnson said.

He said that with donations hovering around the $8000 mark, any leftover goods would be donated to other Anglicare sites across the state.

It’s believed thieves used a car to move the stolen food.

“They stole basic stuff – not exotic chocolate biscuits,” said Mr Johnson. “We are assuming that they are going to want to sell it.”

– with The Age