Open houses, blessing set for St. Mary’s pantry

Krystle Wagner • Apr 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM

SPRING LAKE — The fresh paint has dried and volunteers are settling into the new space for the St. Mary’s Catholic Church food pantry location.

During the winter, the food pantry, which also serves under the umbrella of Love in Action, moved into the former elementary wing of St. Mary’s School.

An open house for the food pantry will follow Mass at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22; and after Mass at 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday, April 23. Father Dave Gross will bless and dedicate the new location at 12:45 p.m. April 23.

Dorothy Raha, head of Christian Services for St. Mary’s Catholic Church, said they’re still working on sloping the sidewalk by the front door off Prospect Street, and they’re working to address heating and air conditioning.

The food pantry’s size increased more than 40 percent with the move. The new location provides more storage opportunities, and it’s a “generous, friendly and welcoming space,” Raha said.

More than 50 volunteers helped pack, build shelves, paint and unpack all of the items.

The church received two grants from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation to help relocate the food pantry. The grants included $20,000 from the Marion A. and Ruth K. Sherwood Family Fund and $15,000 from the Greatest Need Fund.

The renovation and relocation was anticipated to cost about $125,000.

In 2016, the pantry served 902 families — which breaks own to 1,648 adults and 657 children — throughout the parish and community.

Raha said it’s good being able to help serve the community, and they do their best to serve as Jesus served. Without the help of volunteers, the community, parish and grants, Raha said the move and serving the community wouldn’t be possible.

The pantry provides families with items such as nonperishable foods, coffee, juice, and personal hygiene products.

“Anything in your house, we need in His house,” Raha said.

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