Iowa Park food pantry collecting donations for remodel

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IOWA PARK (KFDX/KJTL) — The Food Pank and Commodity Program is a Ministerial Alliance project started back in the 1970s, first housed in a little house behind the First Christian Church, it’s now housed at the Methodist Church for the last several years.

But on distribution days, the hallways of the church are cluttered with volunteers, food, and clients coming and going. While servicing about 70 people a month, a volunteer for the pantry said the need for a new, bigger space is there.

“It would make a big difference on our clients,” Member And Volunteer For First Methodist Church Food Pantry Tom Venhaus said. “We have clients that we start our distribution at 4, we have clients that show up at 2 o’clock. And only in bad weather can we bring them in and put them in Fellowship Hall. They’re outside in the heat.”

They plan to remodel a space inside the church used in the past as a choir room, and at one time, a daycare, to house the food pantry and commodity program. This new space could not only increase storage but efficiency as well.

“In order to have more room for the food that we obtain through the community, some of this food we buy from the Food Bank. They’re looking for a larger space that we can work out of,” Iowa Park Minister Alliance Food Bank Coordinator Michael Isbell said. “Maybe even make it convenient for the people that they can not have to walk in to get their food, but they can drive up and we’ll take the food out to you.”

But first, they’ve got to first raise the funds needed by hosting fundraisers, like the one earlier today, to renovate and there is a lot to be done.

“Taking and putting in the new floor tile, new ceiling tiles in places, new lighting. Making sure that we got enough electrical outlets for the freezers. Putting in heating and air conditioning. Putting in the ramps by the windows that would have access in and out type of thing,” Venhaus said.

This project is estimated at $40,000 but could cost more. They hope to start remodeling the space within the next 6 months to a year.

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