HOLDEN, Mass. — The Wachusett Food Pantry needs a new home and is looking for an organization or individual to step forward to offer a location where it can continue operations when it leaves the current space in Wachusett Extended Care in 2013.
Over the years, the food pantry has been based in a variety of locations in Holden, including St. Mary’s Church and then First Baptist Church.
When First Baptist Church was looking to use its basement space for church programming in 2010, The Oriol Family and Wachusett Extended Care stepped up to offer the Wachusett Food Pantry use of the former hospital building for its food storage and distributions.
Next year, the hospital building will be closed for evaluation when the residents move into the new wing at Holden Rehab, forcing the food pantry to find a new home.
In 2012, the the food pantry has provided emergency food to more than 314 individual families, about 861 people, through 1,821 visits. This is an increase over 2011, in which 284 families, or 724 people, made a total of 1,703 visits.
Because most of the recipients and volunteers live in Holden, pantry Director Karen Halley said, a location that keeps the operations in town would be preferred, but there is no space minimum.
"We're looking for 1,000 square feet, but it doesn't have to be — it could be more, it could be less," she said.
Ideally, Halley said, the location would have parking and handicapped access, as well as off-street access to offer some privacy to the recipients.
"Please help us plan ahead now and find a new home for the pantry so we may continue to help local families in need more than ever before," Halley said.
Whether one has a potential location, or an idea to share to help the organization continue, they can contact the Wachusett Food Pantry by calling 508-829-2749, emailing email@example.com or visiting the website at www.wfp1995.org.