TOWNSHIP – Now in its 46th year, the Church and Community program took a four-block trip from its old Main Street headquarters to a new location on Court Street over the past month.
Exceeding its space at the corner of Main Street and Riverside Drive, the CCP Food Pantry and Second Chance Thrift Shop have moved to 30 Court Street, with a reopening slated for Wednesday.
“We’ve been looking for a place for almost three years, and it suddenly came up and was perfect,” said CPC director Connie Jenkins.
Previously Freihofer Bakery Outlet, 30 Court St. is wheelchair accessible with a flat loading area and separate areas for thrift store, storage, pantry shelves, pantry refrigeration and a desk, totaling a much larger footprint than the old building, which was bordered by a multi-level cargo area to the rear.
Cheryl Glidden, CPC board member and new vice president, said the new location is a “particularly wonderful place” because of its physical accessibility and convenient parking in front of Court Street Square.
The move started about three weeks ago with the thrift store inventory and ended Thursday with the pantry move, and volunteers will continue to organize and prepare for its reopening next week.
“We are 46 years old and we have a very special place in the community,” Ms. Jenkins said. “I am very grateful and amazed at the generosity, support and kindness that people have shown us from the start. This move is a big step forward so that we can do our job and do it better, and we’re only here because people have supported us.
During the 2019 Christmas season, thousands of dollars in labeled children’s Christmas gifts were stolen from the CCP’s Main Street store. Three months later, a global pandemic arrived in the north of the country.
But at all times of collective struggle, Ms Jenkins said, church sponsors and community members have turned up – Christmas gifts have been replaced and items donated throughout the health crisis of the COVID-19.
Ms. Jenkins recalled finding a box of masks “for your volunteers” and bags of food left outside the CCP this spring.
“People have never stopped giving to us,” she said. “We are the mirror or the window of their kindness, it only passes through us. “
Serving low-income families and the elderly in the towns of Canton, Clare, DeKalb, Hermon and Russell, the CCP’s pantry remained open in a limited capacity while the thrift store closed to the public this spring. With the reopening next week at the new location, the Pantry will still operate in limited capacity until further notice.
From noon to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, pantry volunteers will continue to provide prepared boxes of food items, as the organization has done throughout the pandemic to reduce the mix of in-person pantry shoppers. . The CCP hopes to return to its normal pantry hours three days a week this fall. The thrift store will reopen from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays from Wednesday.
“It’s tough and I’m not sure it’s a good time,” Ms. Jenkins said of the reopening of the thrift store. “But we’ve been down for over four months, and we’re taking precautions, and if the virus reappears here, we’ll shut down again. It is not worth dying.
Volunteers have already taken two trainings in the past few weeks, learning how to properly sanitize the thrift store and pantry and reviewing updated opening and closing guidelines. Wearing a mask is compulsory to enter the building.
Thursday’s pair of movers from Canton-based Moved In, Alex Boak and Bryan Parker offered services for free, and Canton Apples provided a refrigerated trailer to haul cold and frozen pantry items.
From 10 a.m. to noon on July 30, the day after the CCP reopened, Jenkins said the organization had partnered with St. Lawrence University, Gardenshare and Cornell Cooperative Extension to distribute 300 servings of the department’s food. American Agriculture from New York Farmers. The distribution will take place in SLU parking lot J next to Park Street.