Food Pantry to bring in the new year in new location
The PCMA Food Pantry of Pickerington is moving into a larger location.
The pantry used to operate out of a space in the lower level of the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society building at 15 E. Columbus St. in the Olde Village of Pickerington. Moving should be completed by Jan. 5 when it will reopen after the holiday season at 70 N. Cross St., just behind Little Tigers Preschool.
The reopening will coincide with the pantry’s normal closing throughout the holidays with the last distribution day being Dec. 22.
“The move will allow us additional space,” Director Dianna Kasouf said. “The current location is not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. We would like it to be handicap accessible to offer better service to our clients.”
The organization has worked with its new landlord to make the needed renovations to the building. Due to ADA requirements, the new site has undergone reconstruction to the bathroom, including increase its size. Updates to the electrical and plumbing system also have been completed, as well as cosmetic changes.
The renovations will cost about $27,000. Kasouf said the costs include the renovation, as well as new refrigeration to replace older units and general relocation costs.
“We had a variety of sources to assist with the renovations,” Kasouf said. “Many wonderful individuals donated services and supplies, as well as financial donations. We used money that has been set aside over the last two years for the eventual move.”
A grant provided by the United Way will help ease the burden of additional costs of rent so the pantry can afford the new utilities that are being added to the budget for the new year.
The larger location will allow the pantry to expand the products that are being offered to those in need. The pantry offers food items such as canned meats and vegetables, peanut butter and jelly, soup, and other non-perishable food items, Kasouf said.
“We will have the space for more product offerings,” Kasouf said. “We will have the room for more refrigeration to have more dairy products as well as more freezer space to be able to increase the amount of meat we can provide.”
In addition to the pantry, PCMA will now have additional space to offer classes in the conference room. The pantry plans to bring in a dietician, as well as have budgeting classes and health fairs to further serve the clients.
“We will be offering anything that can help our clients,” Kasouf said. “We have provided 80,000 meals year to date. With more space, we will be able to cut down on client wait time.”
The pantry has seen a decrease this year in cash donations compared to last year. With the pantry’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Plaza of Lights, in full swing, Kasouf said they are hoping to see more cash donations come in.
“We rely heavily on the money throughout the year,” Kasouf said.
Donations are accepted through the food pantry website at www.pcmafoodpantry.com. They can also be mailed to PCMA Food Pantry, P.O. Box 914, Pickerington, OH 43147.
For more information, call (614) 834-0079.