Personnel running the Wayne Interfaith Network’s (WIN) food pantry are examining other places to store excess food after they said they’ve received too many donations in recent weeks.
WIN is group of representatives from houses of worship and groups in town that work together to assist the community.
WIN began operating the food pantry out of Packanack Community Church in 1984. The pantry gives food to about 60 Wayne families a month. Bags of food are often piled up near the church door.
Rev. Karyn Ratcliffe said she and a few church trustees met with WIN representatives on Friday. She said they asked them to examine the possibility of looking for other places to store the excess food.
“We’re wondering if there’s any way they could recruit other churches who could serve as satellite food pantries,” Ratcliffe said. “The church has outgrown what WIN has become. The building has been overflowing with food. We have three times as much food as can fit into the space WIN uses.”
A rumor started circulating after the meeting that the church asked WIN to move out of the church immediately, Ratcliffe said. Herb Schuman, WIN’s vice president and director of the food pantry, allegedly started the rumor.
“That’s completely false,” Ratcliffe said. “It is very irresponsible for someone to start spreading a rumor like that. We just want them to think about storing the extra food the have other places. There’s no animosity between us at all.”
WIN officials said while they are not sure what their immediate plans are the pantry will continue to operate exclusively out of the church for the time being.
“We need a bigger space that’s for sure and we are looking around at other places,” Schuman said.
The organization also creates more work for the church, Ratcliffe said.
WIN does not have its own telephone number or e-mail address. All correspondence is conducted through the church office.
Ratcliffe, who chairs the Wayne Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters recovery group, said the church has asked WIN to get its own phone number to minimize the workload.
“It has put a burden on the church not just in terms of the space we have, but in terms of the amount of work our office assistant has to do now,” Ratcliffe said. “She spends a large part of her time dealing with WIN issues.”