Food pantry seeks new, bigger home

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The News-Democrat Intern

The Community Food Pantry could be on the path to achieving its own non-profit 501c(3) status after a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, for community members to attend and volunteer to lead the effort.

The Rev. Dr. Chris White, senior pastor at First Baptist Church, said the meetings to help organize the formation of a 501c(3) are being led by the Carroll County Ministerial Association. Anyone interested in being part of the programs at the food pantry is encouraged to attend Tuesday’s meeting at the First Baptist Church in Carrollton. Enter through the backdoor of the church.

A flier on the meeting states that the new group will form an initial steering group to make decisions on behalf of the food pantry.

The food pantry began locally at the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church 30 years ago and is still housed in the sanctuary’s basement, White said.

The foundation will lay the groundwork for eventually moving the food pantry out of the basement and giving the space back to St. John’s, White said. The basement space is limited and the hope is a new location can provide a larger area for storage and distribution of the food.

“We’d like storefront type space,” White said.

The current process for those needing food from the pantry is to call St. John’s, go to the church the next day for an interview with a volunteer, and fill out paperwork and then receive the food, White said.

The food pantry is responsible for a Christmas outreach that helped 265 families last year, and many more in years past.

The pantry’s food supply is currently sustained by donations through programs such as Scouting for Food, corporate donations and $20,000 in purchases funded through financial giving of community members.

“It’s been a community effort from the beginning,” White said.

The new group will be responsible for finding ways to identify the gaps when it comes to making sure those in the community have food to eat, and the group will then determine ways to improve the accessibility of the pantry to the community, White said.

“We need boots on the ground,” White said.