Year of Success for Loaves and Fishes Pantry - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Year of Success for Loaves and Fishes Pantry

Posted: Updated: Dec 31, 2012 05:33 PM EST

A central Virginia food pantry says it has had a successful first full year in a new location and is looking forward to another year of helping people. 

The Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry is closing out a year that has seen a surge of people in need. The pantry says the move to a new location has allowed it to keep up with the high demand - especially during the holidays.

The pantry moved into their location on Greenbrier Drive one year ago.  They credit upgrades and additions for being able to keep up with the more than 1,200 clients they serve each month.

The pantry has come a long way since operating out of a 17-by-35 foot storage room in Jackson-Via Elementary School in 2004. At the beginning of this year, they moved and added amenities such as a refrigerator, freezer, forklift, and more shelves. These additions have made their first full year a successful one, attracting new clients by the day.

Jerry Denney, the chairman of the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry board of directors said, "I think we had a very successful year here.  Our goal this year was to transition into a new facility, which is a huge job in itself, to transition our clients, which they've done very well since our numbers are up 30 percent and transition the facility."

Denney says they just received a $40,000 grant to hire an executive director for the pantry.   A search will get underway once the grant is matched.

Right now, the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry is open three days a week – Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It serves over 400 tons of food a year, and operates on a $150,000 budget.

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