November 19, 2009

Ministerial Alliance Announces Plans For Food Pantry Expansion

The Scotland County Ministerial Alliance will be having breaking news to share during the Community Thanksgiving Service on November 24th. Details for a facility upgrade at the Food Pantry will be shared with guests at the holiday event.

A series of events and the offer of a new walk-in freezer and a walk-in cooler led the representatives of congregations participating in the County Ministerial Alliance to recommend that a new building be erected for the Food Pantry.

A 40 by 60 steel structure is being considered that will house freezers, provide space for the emergency food pantry and provide more room for food to be donated. Room will also be made for the storage of clothing items from the Clothes Closet as well as bedding and some select furniture and appliances that could be made available to meet emergency needs.

Preliminary estimates indicate that such a building may be erected and fitted for Food Pantry use for $60,000

Many factors play into the desire for placing a new building at the current Food Pantry site. The offer of a new walk in cooler and a walk in freezer created the opportunity to look at the possible future for the Food Pantry Ministry. A larger facility for the Food Pantry to operate will benefit those receiving the monthly distribution. There are also advantages that will affect those who volunteer on both food delivery day and distribution day.

A new building can be designed in such a way that pallets of food may be taken directly from the truck to its place in the Pantry. Often, the items need to be sorted and restacked for distribution. Having more floor space will give volunteers more room to do the sorting and preparing for distribution. Access to walk-in coolers and freezers will make the task of moving items directly from storage to the carts of the clients receiving them.

For those who rely on the monthly food distribution, there are benefits, too. More space in the building as well as cooler and freezer space will allow the Food Pantry director the opportunity to order more food.

We are limited sometimes by the space we have available, said food pantry volunteer Jack Sumption. Having more room to sign in, an easily accessed bathroom and larger aisles for the grocery carts will make the process less difficult as well.

Numerous other advantages can be cited for the proposed building plan. In the coming months, the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance will provide more details and answer questions that may arise.

An offering goal of $5,000 has been set for the Community Thanksgiving service.

Just as a foundation needs to be in place for a building to be erected, a new facility is served well by a firm foundation upon which to build, said Sumption. It is the hope of the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance that individuals, organizations and churches around the County will catch the vision for the possibilities of a facility large enough to expand the food distribution program in our community.

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