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Food Bank outlines space needs

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(5/15) The Thurmont Food Bank is looking for about 1000 square feet of space to move into from their current location in St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on North Church Street.

The number of families the food bank serves continues to grow, which means more space is required to store the food items. According to Rev. Sally Giffin-Joyner, the food bank director, the Thurmont Food Bank served 100 families and 341 individuals in April 2008, up from 49 families and 146 individuals in April 2007.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in use,” said Giffin-Joyner.

The need for more space means that the current space the food back occupies in St. John’s is fast becoming too small.

“We understand that the Thurmont Food Bank is now in need of a different space. … The Thurmont Food Bank simply needs components that we cannot offer,” Rev. K. Craig Moorman of St. John’s wrote in a letter to the town commissioners.
In April, the food bank asked the town commissioners to either provide them with space or help them find new space.

“I really think the town could step up in this instance and lend a hand,” Commissioner Robert Lookingbill said.

Giffin-Joyner provided the commissioners of a list of their space needs. The food bank is seeking at least 1000 square feet of space for storage, an office, a bathroom and waiting room. The space also needs to be handicapped accessible, heated, air conditioned, have electricity that will support multiple freezers and refrigerators, water for cleaning and the bathroom, an entrance not visible to the general public, garage door, lockable doors and garbage pick up.

However, what is uncertain is whether the food bank would be willing to pay rent and how much it could afford.

Mayor Martin Burns suggested the town might match private donations raised for rent. Giffin-Joyner said that while she believed participating churches might pledge to pay a portion of the rent, any money spend on rent “takes money out of the mouths of people you’re trying to feed.”

Now that they have a better feel for the space needs for the Thurmont Food Bank, the commissioners will consider their options and how they might help the food bank.

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