NEWBURY — More than 50 volunteers, including a moving crew from Haverhill, helped move the First Parish Newbury Food Pantry to a temporary location at 89 Hanover St. on Saturday.
Volunteers spent the weekend painting floors, assembling wooden and metal shelves and packaging and moving food and other supplies from the church to the new space.
Mary-Jo and Bruce Anderson donated space in their leased garages on Hanover Street, while a new building for the pantry is constructed behind the First Parish Church of Newbury at 20 High Road. The hope is that the building will be completed by next spring.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the pantry expanded its space to use the entire sanctuary of the church, but that was only possible because the church was holding services via Zoom. Now, as more people get vaccinated, the church is returning to in-person worship.
Ace Cleanouts of Haverhill donated a truck and a crew to help move everything to the temporary quarters, free of charge.
Jane Merrow, co-founder of the pantry, was especially grateful, explaining how helpful this assistance was in the moving of refrigerators and freezers.
“We’ve been working all week to try to make everything as seamless as possible and continue to serve the pantry,” she said in a phone interview.
“It was all hard work done on some hot days, yet everyone was smiling,” Glen Holt, the volunteer who organized the move, noted in a statement.
The pantry, now operating out of 89 Hanover St., opens every Friday, typically serving between 250 and 300 people through deliveries or food pickup.
Roughly half of the people the pantry serves live in Newburyport, followed by 20% in Newbury, 9% in Salisbury, 8% in Rowley, 2% in Ipswich, 2% in West Newbury and the remaining percentage in adjacent towns.
Donations of food and other supplies can be dropped off Thursdays between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Side dishes like rice, pasta and broth are always needed. Paper products and toiletry items are also appreciated.
One of every 10 neighbors in the pantry’s service area do not have a reliable source of healthy food, according to the Greater Boston Food Bank.
“Having a source of fresh produce, dairy, frozen meats and fish, dry goods and personal care products each week makes a huge difference in the health and quality of life our guests,” Merrow said in a statement.
Though the pantry is currently operating out of Hanover Street, the mailing address will remain at High Road. To make a monetary donation, make a check out to First Parish Church Food Pantry and mail to 20 High Road, Newbury, MA 01951.
To get food, place an order ahead of time either online or by calling 978-358-1077 between Wednesdays at noon and Thursdays at 7 p.m.
A previous article about the move can be found at https://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/as-newbury-church-reopens-food-pantry-moving-to-temporary-quarters/article_e7b93baf-c64b-526e-a171-2eb8b7473902.html.