A Home for North Reading Food Pantry
Creating a New Home For The Food Pantry ...
To mark its 300th anniversary, Union Congregational Church is helping create a new home for the North Reading Food Pantry by providing a 1,100 square foot building for the Pantry’s exclusive use. Christian Community Services, an interfaith partnership between the churches of North Reading and the Union Congregational 300th Anniversary Committee are joining forces to lead a capital campaign to fund the building’s renovation and prepare it specifically to meet the Pantry’s needs. Backed by the enthusiastic support of the community, we are confident that the North Reading Food Pantry can open the doors of its new home by 2020.
A Brief History ...
The North Reading Food Pantry under the direction of CCS was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) when its doors opened in 1996. The Pantry is an all-volunteer organization that is open to all North Reading residents. The Pantry presently serves 110 households each month. As well as food, the Pantry offers occasional financial assistance, provides back-to-school supplies and clothing, sponsors the Tag-a-Tag program and supplies holiday dinner baskets.
The Food Pantry NOW ...
The pantry is presently located in the North Reading Town Hall as a tenant-at-will where a secure room of 450 square feet is allocated for pantry use. An adjoining room (a gym) that is used for other purposes is available only during pantry hours. The space is not completely accessible nor is it ADA-compliant. Pantry volunteers must set up and breakdown tables and chairs in this gym space after every pantry session. There is no storage space for the sizeable donations of non-perishable food that the pantry receives throughout the year. There is no space available for a commercial freezer, nor is there space for the Pantry’s Take-a-Tag program.
This is what a “home of its own” will mean for the Pantry
The ability to better store, stock and provide food, including fresh produce and frozen meats, will mean healthier diets for clients.
Flexible scheduling will make it easier to meet client needs.
Pantry space will more than double to 1100 square feet plus 900 square feet for storage on the second floor.
The long wished-for walk-in freezer will finally be a reality.
Ample parking with easy, on-grade access to the building will greatly help clientele.
ADA specifications will finally be met.
Private space for clients needing confidential meetings will be provided.
Good location in the heart of town, within easy walking distance of Peabody Court and the Senior Center, is expected to draw a
wider client base.
A cleaner, brighter more welcoming and accessible space will invite additional clients with needs into the North Reading Food Pantry.
Here’s how you can help create the Food Pantry’s home....
You are probably already helping the food pantry though donations of food and dollars. But there’s more to do. A capital campaign has been established to raise $220,000 needed to renovate and prepare the pantry’s new home. Some generous gifts and grants are already identified so we are well on the way to the goal, but we know that North Reading citizens will want to be part of the “The Food Pantry HOME Fund” effort.
You can give online through this page or make out a check to HOME/Fund/CCS and mail it to PO Box 626, North Reading, MA, 01864.