NICTAUX, N.S. -- Joan Morrison doesn't understand why anyone would ever break into a food bank.

"My first thought was, why did they come help themselves, when we would have gladly helped them?" said Morrison, the manager at Twelve Baskets Food Bank in Nictaux, N.S.

The volunteers at Twelve Baskets say several turkeys, along with more than a dozen cases of beef jerky and candy, were taken late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

It's food that was supposed to feed less fortunate families this Christmas.

"It's the little ones, you know, when there's little kids -- families -- and they don't have anything to eat," said Rosa Pothier, a volunteer at Twelve Baskets.

The Annapolis Valley food bank feeds hundreds of families every month and on Monday donated Christmas dinner hampers, which will be delivered across the community.

The shelter's volunteer manager says she doesn't want the actions of a few Grinches to ruin the holiday season for hungry children in the area.

"It is heartbreaking to see something like this happen," Morrison said. "It's bad at any time of the year, but especially at this time of the year."

Volunteers say cash donations are used to purchase more food and to pay the bills, so there's no extra money in the budget to purchase any surveillance equipment.

"As soon as our chair of the board gets back, he's the handy one, he's going to put some bars up there so it'll make it more difficult for someone to try and do this again," Morrison said.

Volunteers say people in the area have been generously donating goods to help make up for the loss ahead of the holidays.

Nevertheless, they can't help but wonder why the suspects didn't simply ask for help.

"If whoever took our food, or broke in even, just come to the door, Joan and I will be so glad to give you food if that's what you need," said Pothier.