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Portage Township Food Pantry will celebrate its new home March 19

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on March 18, 2020 with No Comments

Each month some 600 Portage Township residents rely on the Portage Township Food Pantry to help stretch their monthly food budget.

The pantry, founded some 35 years ago, will be moving into its new permanent home on March 19.

The pantry initially operated out of a home, moved to a classroom within Willowcreek Middle School, then to the former Garyton School building where it operated for nearly 30 years. About two years ago, the pantry found itself homeless and found temporary shelter at the Portage First Presbyterian Church.

“I had concerns that the families in need in Portage Township would lose this vital service,” said Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy. “At the same time, the Portage Township Trustee’s office was in the process of partnering with county government to build a new office at the Porter County Government Center.”

“Working together with the Porter County Commissioners, we were able to include the additional spaced needed to accommodate the food pantry,” said Clancy.

“We’re ecstatic,” said Joe Kasper, the food pantry board’s president. “A lot of people are feeling we finally have a place we can call home.”

The new facility is located adjacent to the future home of the Portage Township Trustee’s office at 3590 Willowcreek Road, Suite A. The proximity of the two groups will allow for “one-stop shopping” for residents seeking the services of the food pantry. Users must prequalify for pantry services through the trustee’s office.

The opening of the new pantry will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 19. The celebration will include a ribbon cutting and tours of the new facility. Lunch will also be served. Persons interest in attending are asked to RSVP to the trustee’s office at 219-762-1623 or at info@portagetrustee.org

“We are glad we were able to come together as a community to make this happen. It is due to the foresight of officials to see the need for a permanent home,” said Kasper.

“We at Portage Township are very grateful to be able to provide these facilities to assure those families most in need will have food on the table,” said Clancy. “I want to thank our neighbors, businesses and churches who continue to help provide food and financial support. Special thanks to Bobbie DeKemper, director of the food pantry, the Porter County Commissioners and my leadership team.

“I also want to thank Portage City Clerk Treasurer Nina Rivas who served as project manager and all the great volunteers of the food pantry, without whom none of this would be possible.”

The pantry will hold its first distribution at the new facility on March 20.

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