Care Center food pantry needs donations before Sept. 4 opening

joverman@fortmilltimes.comAugust 21, 2013 

JENNY OVERMAN - JOVERMAN@FORTMILLTIMES.COM

— The Fort Mill Care Center plans to reopen its food pantry on Sept. 4 but donations of food are greatly needed first, said Care Center President Carol Higgins.

“If we don’t get some food in it, it won’t open,” Higgins said.

When the Care Center made plans to move from its former Banks Street location in July, most of the food in the pantry had to be given away to clients to help them make it through the month when they would be closed. Perishable foods in particular couldn’t be taken to the new location, which does not have freezers or refrigerators.

And the end of the summer is traditionally slow time for donations, food pantry Chair Jeane Cassidy said.

“So we are very, very low,” she said.

Now that the Care Center is in its new space at 818 Tom Hall St., workers are attempting to restock the shelves.

The food pantry in center’s new location is approximately 2,000 square feet smaller than the previous food pantry. Because of the limited space, Care Center officials decided to limit collection for the food pantry to canned goods, peanut butter, rice and personal care items such as toothpaste, bar soap, shampoo, deodorant, diapers in sizes 4, 5, and 6, adult diapers, laundry detergent and liquid dish soap.

Personal care items are not provided for by food stamps.

“We thought it was important to continue to provide,” Cassidy said.

Donations will be accepted at the new Care Center location from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Aug. 24, and 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 26, 28 and 30.

In May, the Care Center served 800 people and distributed 22,755 pounds of food.

The Fort Mill Care Center reopened its office operations on Aug. 19 at the new location. The office, which provides assistance with utilities and prescription medication payments, opened two weeks earlier than expected because officials were able to set up the office more quickly than anticipated after moving from their former Banks Street location. On Monday, Care Center volunteers were busy figuring out the basics of a new office – replacing light bulbs and determining exactly how the phone system worked. Clients were beginning to come in by 10 a.m. Higgins expected more to arrive as clients realized the Care Center had opened two weeks earlier than anticipated.

In addition to food pantry donations, the Care Center is seeking a treasurer for the organization. The Care Center is an all-volunteer organization and hopes to find a treasurer with a financial background willing to donate his or her time.

For more information, go to fortmillcarecenter.org or call Higgins at 548-3816.

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