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Food Pantry Seeks Places to Store Donations

Wayne Interfaith Network operates its food pantry out of the Packanack Community Church. WIN asked to consider creating satellite food pantries for excess food at church.

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.”

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Scondo January 09, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Short term solution maybe one of those storage containers. Retailers use them at the holiday time to store excess inventory before moving it into the store. It works for fast action. Not really recommend they park one permanently in the parking lot, cause we all know how Packanackers would react.
Michelle Galgan January 10, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Kindly note, the food pickup location is also presently in a shared breezeway with the nursery school. This creates a safety issue when numerous community members, who are unknown to the Church and the nursery school, are in the breezeway of the nursery school when little our nursery school students are present. The school has always partnered with WIN by providing donations and the nursery school's parents have volunteered numerous hours at the pantry, but this situation has certainly become a concern of the families of the nursery school and we, also, would be interested in finding a happy solution for all involved.
Jackie Walton January 11, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Why not consider peoples garages in Wayne? I have lived here all my life and I am willing to give up my two car garage for more space until you can move the food to the pantry (No flood damage) and I am sure you will get more volunteers.
Cathy Kazan January 13, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this program run in cooperation with the Wayne Township Health Department? Are there any Township buildings with some extra space to store non-perishable foods? Why does the food even have to be picked up? The PTO food bank volunteers deliver the food to the school nurse to protect privacy. Can't WIN volunteers deliver the food to the Health Department for pick-up, while storing it in a remote location? Just some thoughts.
Joan Palmino January 13, 2013 at 10:49 PM
This is an excellent idea. The Town should definitely be involved. This is a public service and should include the use of public facilities. Joan Palmino

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