Food pantry fears losing its building weeks after winning makeover

Franklin County BOS approves social services to seek rental agreement of space

By Rachel Lucas - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. - A nonprofit hundreds of local families depend on is now at risk of shutting down, its leaders said.

This news comes just three weeks after God's Provision Food Pantry in Franklin County won a more than $5,000 makeover last month from Food Lion through Feeding America Southwest Virginia.

Now the county's social services department, which is also in need for a bigger location, is looking to rent the same space. Consequently, two organizations that provide necessary resources to the community are vying for the same location.

Feeding America Southwest Virginia nominated God's Provision for the Great Pantry Makeover because the non-profit helps more than 400 families each month. But now they could lose their location, as well as their ability to help the community.
     
Filling hundreds of food boxes for those who without it would go hungry, Angela Routt, the director of God's Provision Food Pantry, sees the struggle many of her neighbors face every day.

"They depend on us each and every month to help supplement what they can't afford," Routt said.

Many of those who come here are children and elderly. All are hungry mouths to feed.

Routt has two tall stacks of applications from people for the pantry's next two food pickups.

"It's a lot of hungry people,” Routt said.

God's Provision Food Pantry runs on donations, largely paid for by the goodwill of local churchgoers who also volunteer through Rocky Mount.

"Just having that cloud of uncertainty over our heads,” said Minister Robert Meredith.

Meredith said winning the makeover was a big boost to their cause, but now their future is again in question.

"It's been a lot of uncertainty. Really not knowing how to plan. Not knowing what our next step is going to be," Meredith said.

Not to mention their pantry makeover, much of which would leave with the building. Food Lion made part of their refrigerated storage moveable, but renovation done to the building itself would no longer be of benefit to the pantry.

"It is hurtful. Because they did a lot for us. We put a lot of work into this place,” Routt said. “The fact of maybe having to move now, start all over again, I guess that is the impact that bothers me. How long will we be out of commission for these people right at the holiday season?"

Although the future is uncertain, members of the food pantry hope a fortunate turn for both their non-profit and social services can be made.

To make a donation to God's Provision Food Pantry click here.

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