The Salem-Roanoke County Food Pantry is scheduled to move to its new, permanent quarters at 829 Indiana Street in East Salem on November 10.
The announcement came from Michael (Mickey) Estienne, its director, who noted that the new site near Seventh Street has adequate parking and considerably more space for serving the public and necessary storage of staple food.
For the past two years, the pantry has been in a crowded space off Union Street near Mowles Spring Park since its former quarters were needed by the building’s owner, Novozymes Biologicals corporation.
Estienne said he took over the director’s job earlier this year following the departure of Jenny McCormick who had coordinated the ecumenical ministry for many years.
Households to receive free food must be referred by the Roanoke County Department of Social Services or a church. The pantry is normally open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is staffed largely by volunteers; during the Covid-19 pandemic they have brought previously chosen staple food out to recipients in their cars.
Many church groups give regularly to the pantry with baby food and diapers, a special need.
The Indiana Street building was formerly used as a Pentecostal church. It is within walking distance of the Joan Dorsey Community Clothing Closet and accessible by bus.
–Frances Stebbins, correspondent