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Major Upgrades Coming to Food Pantry in Nelson County

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A food pantry in Nelson is getting much-needed upgrades. A food pantry in Nelson is getting much-needed upgrades.
More fridges will keep donations from going bad. More fridges will keep donations from going bad.
More shelves offer more storage space for donations. More shelves offer more storage space for donations.
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A Nelson County food bank is changing locations and getting a makeover.

The Oak Hill Baptist Church Food Pantry in Nelson County is preparing to open at its new spot, just in time to get ready for the holiday season. The new location will feature more refrigerators and shelves to store donations.

The pantry was nominated by the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank for a makeover in July, and won the great pantry makeover and effort by food lion to help end hunger in local communities. The Ridge Area Food Bank said the change means more options for families in need.

“They’re not just receiving a bag of food that somebody else assembled for them, but these families are actually able to go into the pantry and be able to choose the foods that are right for their family,” said director of agency relations for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Michelle Hesse.

In addition to the makeover, the pantry has moved to the Nelson Heritage Center. 

Food Lion donated new shelves and refrigerators, and employees worked with the food bank to set up and install everything. They spent just a few hours preparing the pantry to receive food.

Reverend Rodney Sandidge volunteers with the food pantry and loved watching everything come together. According to Sandidge, the new pantry offers a broader variety of foods to select from.

“They tore open the boxes, they put their hands in there put all these shelves together, positioned refrigeration, hooked them up and put the handles on the doors,” Sandidge said. “It was a labor of beauty.”

The pantry will also be working with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to set up an online registration system for families who need to use the food bank so that no food goes to waste.

“They have to come in and register how many people are in their families and once they are logged in, they’ll be able to monitor them,” Sandidge said. “They want people to make sure they get the right amount of food but not to just use the pantry just to stock up your own closet.”

The new pantry plans to open its doors on October 18, once setup is finished.