Pantry Faces Need to Move for Second Time

Updated 6:20 p.m. by Jim Hamill – Clarifies who notified the pantry of the need to move

WILLIAMSPORT — Just before the holidays, a food pantry in Williamsport has found out it will have to move again.

It will be the second time the pantry has had to find a new home in the past 12 months.

There are a few hundred people who make the trip to the United Churches Food pantry every month in Williamsport.

The pantry moved to the Campbell Street Center last year when the church where it was located had plumbing problems.

Gail Burkhart helps run the pantry for the needy and said things were going well in the new location until a couple of weeks ago.

“The rug was pulled out from under us. There was a notice on our door on the 5th of November,” said Burkhart.

The building’s owner, the Lycoming Housing Authority, wants to sell which means the pantry has to pick up and leave at the end of the month, right in the midst of the holiday season. However, it was the non-profit organization The Center that did not notify the pantry until nearly a week into November of the need to move.

“Our clients again don’t know where we’re going to be, where we’re going to get food,” said Burkhart.

Not only does the United Churches Food Pantry find itself in the same predicament it was in last year, this time, having to find a new home on short notice. The folks who run the pantry said their budget has been cut to about a quarter of what it was last year.

While the pantry searches for a new location, clients said any interruption will be difficult for everyone who relies on the pantry for food.

“If they have a heart they’ll try to find something accessible for them to continue on with the work they’re doing,” said Pat Rogers of Williamsport.

“The fat lady has not sung yet, and god has not given his last word on it. Hopefully something or some entity will donate and help them stay here,” said Sharon Harmon, also of Williamsport.