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Grafton Food Pantry to open new digs Tuesday

(Mike Greene – For the Northwest Herald)
JoAnn Stegmaier of Huntley (left) reads the label on a bottle Saturday while Marilyn Jahnke of Huntley waits to place the item on the shelf during the Grafton Food Pantry's move to its new location along Allison Court in Huntley. The pantry should be fully moved by Tuesday and will then start its merged operation with Lake in the Hill's Faith Community Church.

HUNTLEY – Moving equipment and food to serve hundreds of people a month in a more spacious warehouse was a daunting task for the Grafton Food Pantry.

Board member Harriet Ford didn’t think the pantry’s small network of volunteers could complete the move, which was announced last month, and have the pantry running by Tuesday. But Ford’s concern vanished after the nonprofit received unsolicited help from individuals to service groups in the Huntley community.

“It’s been a wonderful experience,” Ford said. “People have reached out from all over the community – from churches to individuals to Sun City clubs. It’s been rewarding to see so many people want to take care of their neighbors.”

In early October, the pantry announced it would move from its warehouse along Smith Drive to a larger space at 11481 Allison Court in Huntley. The nonprofit also will bring Faith Community Church’s food pantry after the two merged operations.

Combined, the two groups will provide 400 low-income families in the area with canned goods and food a month. The new warehouse also provides the pantry with office space and a waiting room, along with bigger storage space.

Nearly 60 volunteers have helped the pantry with the move, putting up shelving in the new location and helping with general maintenance.

More than 20 volunteers helped the pantry move food Saturday from its old location along Smith Drive a few blocks away to the new warehouse along Allison Court. The added help means the expanded pantry will be open for business Tuesday.

The pantry then will transition toward raising donations for the holiday season and preparing Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for families in need.

“It’s very nice that so many people care and want to be a part of the process,” Ford said.


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