Wilton food pantry finds new home
WILTON Ã¢ÂÂ” With the upcoming sale of the former Sacred Heart Church, the Open Cupboard Food Pantry had to find a new home.
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre moving to Wilton Falls Building,Ã¢ÂÂ Director Linda LaDouceur said, Ã¢ÂÂwith many thanks to owner Chuck Crawford,Ã¢ÂÂ who had the space repainted for the pantry.
The new site is to the right of the church thrift shop, LaDouceur said, Ã¢ÂÂand should suit our purposes very well.Ã¢ÂÂ
The food pantry was started about 22 years ago by the late Deb Ducharme, LaDouceur said.
Ã¢ÂÂWe were always at the church,Ã¢ÂÂ she said. Ã¢ÂÂWe began with one big cupboard. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs how we got our name.Ã¢ÂÂ
The facility serves residents of Wilton, Lyndeborough, Greenfield and Temple. Use is by appointment only for privacy reasons, and averages about 35 appointments each month.
Ã¢ÂÂPeople come and shop,Ã¢ÂÂ she said. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs like a grocery store where you can pick out what you want, not come and be handed a basket of food. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs how Deb wanted it.Ã¢ÂÂ
The pantry is supported mostly by donations, she said, as well as the New Hampshire Food Bank, where it can buy food at reduced prices; New Hampshire Charities; and Southern New Hampshire Services. It also can get federal free food when available.
The pantry is nonprofit under the auspices of the Wilton Lions Club.
Ã¢ÂÂWe lost our nonprofit status when they closed the church,Ã¢ÂÂ she said, Ã¢ÂÂand the Lions took us on.Ã¢ÂÂ
She added, Ã¢ÂÂThe community is extremely generous. We are all volunteers.Ã¢ÂÂ
For an appointment or to volunteer, call LaDouceur at 654-2635, which is also the number for Whiting Hill School.
Ã¢ÂÂPeople shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt hesitate to call,Ã¢ÂÂ she said. Ã¢ÂÂWe encourage people to apply for food stamps and help them through the process if they need it.Ã¢ÂÂ
There are collection baskets at local churches, and all the schools participate in one way or another.
Ã¢ÂÂThe different sections of the Legion Ã¢ÂÂ” the ladies and the sons Ã¢ÂÂ” compete to see who can collect the most food,Ã¢ÂÂ LaDouceur said.
Ã¢ÂÂDeb was our founder, very concerned about our senior citizens,Ã¢ÂÂ she said, Ã¢ÂÂand she is the spirit of the pantry. We miss her.Ã¢ÂÂ
The pantryÃ¢ÂÂs senior dinners were discontinued when problems were found with the heating system at the church.
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂll look into another place,Ã¢ÂÂ LaDouceur said.