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New food shelf opens in Grantham

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 12/6/2022 10:36:52 PM
Modified: 12/6/2022 10:36:57 PM

GRANTHAM — Those who are facing food insecurity in Grantham no longer have to travel to other towns for nonperishable goods.

Last month, the Grantham Food Pantry opened at the Grantham United Methodist Church, at 418 Route 10. It is open from 9 to 11 a.m. Sundays and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, excluding holidays. People can learn more by emailing granthamfoodpantry@gmail.com or visiting facebook.com/granthamumc.

“Since the pandemic we were trying to find a way as a church to be more relevant in the community and we talked with the town welfare officer and the town management and they suggested a food pantry because it’s something that we didn’t have,” said Liz Borger, a church member who is one of the food pantry’s organizers. “While it’s driven by the church, it’s definitely a community effort.”

Community members heard that people needed to travel to towns including New London to get assistance, said Lin Hill, a member of the church who is one of the pantry’s organizers.

“All the costs are rising right now and there has to be people who are hurting,” Hill said, citing cost increases for heating fuel and food, among others.

The food pantry has nonperishable food items. It also has toiletries. People are welcome to come in and take what they want by browsing the shelves. There are no financial eligibility requirements and people who live outside Grantham are welcome to use it.

“We don’t want people to be embarrassed about coming in. You don’t have to be destitute to come in,” Hill said, noting that young people who are just starting out might be struggling with rising rents and might not have enough money left over to fully cover food costs. “If you’re a family and you’re working, but you’re just fighting these rising costs, let us help you.”

Since the food pantry is still new, Hill said she isn’t sure how many people will regularly use it. Donations are being accepted at the food pantry itself, as well as nearby Town Hall and the Dunbar Free Library.

“It has been a slow start,” Borger said, adding that volunteers are focusing on raising awareness. “You don’t have to be on a certain income or your kids on free or reduced(-price) lunch or any kind of assistance program to take advantage of this. You might just need a little boost to help all your monthly expenses work out.”

There are around a dozen people who regularly volunteer at the food pantry, which is on the first floor of the church.

“It’s a nice environment and people should feel comfortable to come in,” Hill said. “We’re trying to get rid of any stigma of a food bank or a food pantry. We just want anyone to come who can use a little help.”

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.




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