Police are hunting for two teenage burglars who robbed a Salvation Army food bank in Christchurch early yesterday morning.

The intruders smashed a window of the Salvation Army's Community Ministries building on Colombo St in Sydenham, where the charitable organisation stockpiles its non-perishable food for Cantabrians in need.

Salvation Army captain Brenton Millar was alerted when the alarm went off shortly after midnight Saturday.

He arrived at the scene to find police already there, including dog handlers who commenced to follow the burglars' scent.


But the trail grew cold - it appeared the offenders, thought to be teenagers, had taken off in a car, Millar said.

They had smashed a window and taken off with several bags of food. About four bags were located stashed in bushes close by, but the rest of the loot, and the offenders, remained at large.

"It's very unfortunate that people who are in need will not benefit due to the actions of others because if this person or these people had come in for support I'm sure we would have helped out where could," Millar said. "We don't like these things happening in our community - we're here to help."

Police said in a statement that two "young teenage boys" wearing dark clothing were seen fleeing the scene early yesterday morning.

Their investigations are ongoing.

According to the Salvation Army's annual report, the organisation gave out 55,100 food parcels last year, just 100 fewer than 2014 and only slightly down from a 2013 peak of 56,400.

The organisation helps more than 120,000 families and individuals in need each year-with budgeting advice, food and clothing assistance, life skills programmes and other comfort and support.

Meanwhile, a Whanganui Hospice Shop has been forced to pay hundreds of dollars to remove a pile of rubbish dumped at their front door overnight Friday.

Among the items dropped off at the entrance to the Tawa St, Gonville, shop were eight mattresses and a lounge suite.

The pile cost the hospice shop $200 to remove.