Richmond food pantry seeks donations to expand

RICHMOND – Operations have gotten too crowded at the Community Food Pantry in Richmond, pantry director Char Kania said.

"The pantry has existed for [over] 30 years," Kania said, "but in the last three years, we've tripled in size."

Currently operating out of the basement of Memorial Hall, 10308 Main St., Richmond, the pantry was at one point serving about 45 families every month. Kania said that number has risen to about 145 families a month within the past few years.

That's why Kania and husband, Ken, are looking to the community for help to purchase a new property at an undisclosed address in Richmond, priced at $167,000.

If obtained, the building, which Kania hopes to inhabit by the holidays, would solve space needs for current and future operations.

"What we're trying to do now is get as many people involved as possible to make this come true," she said, adding she's sent out about 400 letters to raise awareness within the community.

"I've had little response so far, but I've got another 200 letters to send out. … I'm trying to reach everybody."

The pantry serves both the Richmond and Spring Grove communities, and Kania said a growing number of visitors are seniors and those on disability, which presents an entirely different issue.

"My biggest problem now is [the facility] is not handicapped accessible," she said. "I worry every time some of these people come down the stairs."

She said she's resorted to home deliveries for some in order to prevent them from walking up and down the stairway.

In addition to sending letters, Kania said she's open to fundraising ideas.

"I was hoping between the [Richmond and Spring Grove communities] we could pull together and raise these funds."

Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 78 at Memorial Hall. Checks should be made out to: Community Food Pantry of Richmond/Spring Grove Building Fund, and questions should be directed to Kania at 815-678-4351.

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