We did it! After two years of planning, purchasing, constructing, and more planning, I’m very happy to tell you that our Hunger Prevention Center (an expansion of our food pantry program) has now been operational for a month. It makes me even happier to say that we will be holding our official grand opening of this massive undertaking this week on August 15th from 11am-1pm, and you’re invited.
Two years is a long time to be committed to a project. Thanks to your donations, the Hylton Foundation, and the unwavering support of ACTS’ volunteers, we were able to achieve something spectacular. I think the first lingering question in the community is, “Why did we do it?” On the outside, our food pantry was running pretty well. There was a location for clients to pick up food, as well as one for donors to drop off food. Local grocery stores and individuals always delivered when we were running low on items. The fact is that ACTS has been around for 50 years, and every year, our case managers have seen an increase of clients desperate for food. More and more people who have gone through years of food insecurity are finally hearing about our work. And even more people are willing to admit that times are hard and have been courageous enough to ask for food.
The second lingering question might be, “Why did it take so long?” Well, for the longest time, we were sharing a warehouse with the ACTS Thrift Store. We realized we had to have more space to house more food, and that’s when we decided to acquire the green building behind our Family Services Center. Once we did, we had to make it safe for the volunteers who process the food and utilize the space to hold donations. There was also a lot of planning about how to make the building useful for us, and most importantly, our clients. Now we have a better flow as it pertains to sorting food between two buildings and giving food to clients. The bottom line was to serve more clients efficiently.
Hunger Prevention Center volunteers Bob Chamberlin and Jeff Cole both leave a lasting impression on ACTS' new pavement.
The Hunger Prevention Center is for the community; it was graciously created by our neighbors for our neighbors. It’s a place where people don’t have to be ashamed to ask for food. It’s also been designed to help people choose healthier food options. Along with adding dietary options, we have brought on a full-time Health and Wellness Case Manager that will help our clients learn how to cook healthy food they have received from us. We have food for everyone in the family, including dogs and cats. There is a need in our community to serve our neighbors. I hope you can join me this week as we celebrate not only an achievement and a milestone for ACTS, but also the overwhelming generosity from the community that we have seen for two years.
As a side note; our work is never done. We'll always need more food to keep our neighbors sustained, more funds to keep our operations running, and more volunteers to keep making ACTS a better place to work and visit. Would you like to be part of the change we're making? If so, please click the link below to volunteer. Your hard work and dedication means that you're giving the best part of yourself to those who need it most, and we sincerely appreciate you!