Raiders who targeted a charity which dishes out emergency food so families do not go hungry are among the lowest of the low.

Staff at Braintree Area Foodbank were left counting the cost this week after crooks stole a van, computers and other equipment from their warehouse.

It is hard to understand how anyone could live with themselves after carrying out such a crime.

This volunteer-run service is a vital lifeline to families in crisis.

It provided almost 1,500 three-day emergency food supplies last year – up almost 30 per cent on the previous 12 months.

Almost 1,300 went to children.

The charity, which costs £40,000 a year to run, can only exist because of the amazing generosity of local people donating food, time and money.

So it will have been hit hard by this deplorable crime.

Their van was used to collect donations and get food parcels to the families who so desperately need them.

Thankfully staff say the service will continue to operate as normal and help those in most need despite what has happened.

Their resilience and determination to combat poverty and hunger is to be applauded.