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The Storehouse Community Food Pantry is in need of a new venue

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Helen Burks presents a $1,000 donation to Bill Mounger of the Storehouse Food Pantry in Vicksburg. (Photo courtesy J.R. Burks)
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The Storehouse Community Food Pantry is currently searching for a new location.

According to Bill Mounger, director of the Food Pantry, the Pantry has been open since around 2002. It functions independently and is not affiliated with any other programs or churches. It was originally located in a building on South Street behind Crawford Street Methodist Church.

Around 4 years ago, there was a storm that knocked the back end of the building off. The building was torn down and the Pantry moved into the Good Shepherd Community Center on Cherry Street in 2018.

They (Good Shepherd) have allowed the Pantry to operate out of two classrooms in the building for the last four years. Over the course of that time, the demand for their preschool and after-school care has vastly increased which requires more space to be used for the children. As a result, the Pantry has been asked to relocate once again.

The Community Pantry was asked in July to be out of the building by Nov. 1. Mounger said that in the last couple of months, they have looked at around 30-40 different possible locations to move to. “So far, they’re either too small, too big, too expensive or they don’t have enough parking.”

It is important for the Pantry to have enough parking for volunteers and the people who come to utilize the services provided. Currently, a drive-through has been arranged at the Good Shepherd so that people can drive up, present their identification and receive their food supplies.

Mounger says this arrangement has worked out really well since covid. It would work for future transactions as well but there has been a struggle in finding a place that properly supports such a setup. They want a place that they can safely operate from and afford.

In addition to safety and ease of access, the Pantry is hoping to find a place that isn’t on the market for sale anytime soon. They don’t need the location to be permanent, but they have many appliances, freezers and shelving units that are difficult to transport. “We are looking for a place that we can feel comfortable in for a number of years,” Mounger continued.

They are also hoping for a venue that is near the center of the city to allow access for people who need to walk to the Pantry or who are centrally located. Mounger spoke highly about the work Good Shepherd is doing for the children and expressed that it’s important for the Pantry to make sure that space is available for them to use as soon as possible.

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