The Waldoboro Food Pantry will move from 251 Jefferson St. to the Medomak House, at 124 Friendship St., later this month. The recent drive-thru pantry events at the municipal building will likewise move to Medomak House.
Medomak House was formerly home to a shop, Epic Yarn, and is across from the Friendship Street School.
“We will have a trial run on June 30 and hopefully after that we will be able to fully relocate,” said Jeff Brown, the new director of the pantry.
“The main reason we are moving is space. We didn’t have enough room for people to come in and do what they need to do safely. Even at the town office, we really didn’t have enough room for the volunteers,” Brown said.
Pantry representatives will bring their plans for the new location to the Waldoboro Planning Board in July, according to Max Johnstone, a planning consultant to the town.
The drive-thru pantry takes place from noon to 3 p.m. every Tuesday. The events started after coronavirus-related economic turmoil led to a spike in use of the Waldoboro Food Pantry.
The Waldoboro Board of Selectmen and Town Manager Julie Keizer discussed the move June 9.
Selectman Abden Simmons said the new location will offer more space to pack food than the meeting room at the municipal building.
“You really do need a lot of room to pack those bags. It’s 400 bags by the time you are done,” Keizer said.
Board Chair Robert Butler said the new site has a circular traffic pattern that should work well for a drive-thru event.
“You don’t have to go up and turn around. You just follow the circle and come back down the hill a little farther up the road,” Butler said.
The pantry will be run out of a 30-by-30 renovated barn where the late Mary Ann Beinecke operated Epic Yarn.
Keizer thanked all those who have volunteered at the drive-thru events since late April. “There are so many new faces at the food pantry. Today we had more volunteers,” she said.
Town employees have been assisting with the events. “It has just been such a great thing and I think it is something we all enjoy,” Keizer said.
Butler said the town will continue to “assist where we can.”
The event served 116 families June 9.
“Since we have been involved with this, we have served over 900 individual families,” Keizer said, citing a report from Lou Cook, who recently stepped down as food director at the Waldoboro Food Pantry.
Keizer said she believes that number is “spot on” since it coincides with estimates related to poverty in Waldoboro.
“I think it is a very valid number. When I heard the number, 900 unique families, it just spoke volumes,” Keizer said.
Selectman Clinton Collamore said the food pantry recently received a $500 donation from a resident.