CHERRY HILL, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Volunteers helped move the Cherry Hill Food Pantry into its new home after the pantry had to leave its former rent-free location.
Workers were helping to stack boxes of mac and cheese and move pallets of peanut butter in the new home of the Cherry Hill Food Pantry on Tuesday.
For months, the future of the pantry was in doubt because its former rent-free lease was expiring. The 910 Beechwood Avenue building used to house offices and a small manufacturing space, executive director Janet Giordano said, but last week, the pantry used saved money as a down payment and bought the place for $350,000.
“A mortgage is so much cheaper than the rents we were going to pay,” Giordano said.
Giordano said the office walls need to be demolished in her new 8,400-square-foot facility. She said the place needs new bathrooms and wiring, and she’s looking for tradespeople to donate materials, services or both.
“We’re ready to go but the building isn’t,” she said.
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But she plans to open anyway on Thursday for the 450 needy people who take advantage of the pantry every month, and it’ll be more like a drive-thru.
“What we’re going to be doing is our volunteers will fill their baskets with the same food they would have been offered had we had our shelves up,” she explained. “And we’ll take it to their cars.”
At the old location, clients of the pantry would push a cart past the shelves, supermarket-style.
“There’s people who are hungry in every town. Even the towns that people think are wealthy and well off. There’s still the need,” said pantry board member Bill Sleeth.
A GoFundMe page is set up to collect donations for renovations.