The Milan Christian Food Pantry has some exciting news to share. This past winter, we were notified of a generous donor who wanted to give us the gift of a building. That donor is Ken Collinson (and his family) a long-time attorney in Milan. He is willing to donate his law office at 225 E 1st Street Milan to the Food Pantry. This building is on Highway 67 just to the north side of Hardees.
For those of you who are familiar with the building we have been renting for the past 5.5 years, you know that we have been operating in a very cramped space. We make absolutely the most efficient use of that space that we can possibly do. Even so, we are constantly bumping into one another as we go about our work there. This new building has about 50% more space on the first floor for us to utilize, as well as a basement under most of the building. This additional space is what really excited us about this new opportunity.
The old saying is “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” That is the case with this facility. The parking is more limited than our current facility. The building is a split level. So that there are stairs to go up to the first floor. There is a drainage issue in the parking lot. The building is segmented into several offices. Therefore, a fair amount of renovation is needed before we can utilize this building as a food pantry. Two members of the Food Pantry Board have been managing the project of getting bids to do all the renovation work. That bid gathering is still ongoing. Once we have a good handle on the estimated cost of the renovation, we have a source of financing that has given a high degree of assurance they will give us grant money for the construction.
It will be a several month project to prepare the building for use. Currently, we have no estimated move date. We will continue to operate in our current facility for the near future. We hope to use as much volunteer labor as possible for the renovation. This includes working with some of the trade unions that may be willing to donate time to us. In addition, there may be opportunities for St. Matthew members with building skills to volunteer on a particular activity. We will keep you informed as we progress.
Since our opening in November 2013, St. Matthew has been a stalwart of support for the Milan Christian Food Pantry. Your ideas, time, food, dollars, and most of all, prayers have helped make the Milan Christian Food Pantry a vital part of Christian benevolence in our community. We will continue to need that support as we move forward with this exciting new opportunity.
Kitty & Al