Rocky Mount, N.C. — Days after a thief grabbed bushels of grub from a Habitat for Humanity garden in Rocky Mount, a crew of green-thumb Girl Scouts pitched in to help the organization recover.
Habitat workers decided this year to plant a garden on a lot off Cokey Road that one day will be a Habitat home and use all of the vegetables they grow to feed homeless people in the area.
But someone made an early harvest this weekend, stealing more than 100 cabbage plants and picking enough squash to fill two buckets, officials said.
"It sort of took my breath away for a minute. I was not happy about it," said Eric Ghiloni, executive director of Rocky Mount Area Habitat for Humanity.
"That's embarrassing. Why are you just stealing cabbages?" said Erin Corry, a member of a New Jersey-based Girl Scout troop that worked in the Rocky Mount garden on Tuesday.
The troop registered six months ago through Habitat's website to volunteer in the garden before heading to the Carolina coast for a beach trip.
"(We're) helping out the community (and) having a little fun while doing it," Girl Scout Micky Baccus said.
"We're chopping stuff with these hoes and picking up muddy stuff," Corry said.
As Rocky Mount police investigate the vegetable theft, Ghiloni said Habitat officials want to get the message out the garden is meant to help the homeless.
Local resident Cynthia Bennett showed up, bag in hand, at the garden Tuesday because someone told her she could pick vegetables there. She said she didn't know the reason behind the garden.
"It seems to be a good place for people who don't have enough to eat and have to go to shelters and stuff," Bennett said.
Habitat is creating a neighboring community garden where the public will be allowed to pick vegetables if they help tend the garden. Workers plan to put up signs explaining which garden is which.