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Hope Church Care Center and Food Pantry to open in December

After closing in April and announcing plans to re-open in May, what was the Store House Food Pantry north of Grand Forks will reopen as the Hope Church Care Center and Food Pantry this December at Grand Cities Mall.

Acting Director Jody Larson said she found these shelves at a Sears liquidation sale, noting the new care center's space was formerly a Sears warehouse. Emily Allen, Grand Forks Herald
Acting Director Jody Larson said she found these shelves at a Sears liquidation sale, noting the new care center's space was formerly a Sears warehouse. Emily Allen, Grand Forks Herald

After closing in April and announcing plans to re-open in May, what was the Store House Food Pantry north of Grand Forks will reopen as the Hope Church Care Center and Food Pantry this December at Grand Cities Mall.

According to Great Plains Food Bank, Grand Forks County offers six other food pantries, three of those being in the city of Grand Forks. Before it closed, Store House served 65 to 100 families a week.

The new pantry will serve 450 families every month looking for food, Hope Church Care Center board President Julie Dostal said.

"There's a great need for people to just get their basic necessities met with food," she said.

Dostal leads a board of Hope Church and community members passionate for reopening a pantry.

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"It's not really a Hope function of Hope church," Dostal said. "We want it to be a community care center."

Dostal said she looks forward to working with other organizations in Grand Forks, including other churches, groups and local businesses. The center has received support from Great Plains Food Bank and Bed Bath and Beyond, which donated unused products from its store. Grand Cities Mall, owned and managed by Hope Church, is letting the center stay rent-free, according to the center's acting director Jody Larson.

"We still have to pay electric, and we still have to pay utilities," she said.

The latter cost likely will be high once the center turns on a set of walk-in freezers it received from a closing Subway sandwich shop, she said. Food pantry shelves came from a liquidation sale at Sears, and the space the center is reconstructing was a former Sears warehouse.

"So I like to say they're probably back where they started," Larson said of the shelves.

Most of the facility's construction was completed as of Friday, and Dostal said board members are prepared to start loading the shelves with food. Larson said they eventually will need a forklift.

Whereas the old pantry only offered groceries, Dostal said families will be able to take classes on subjects like finances and first aid. She also said she hopes families will find other necessities there like shampoo and toothpaste.

"A food pantry is definitely going to be a part of it, but we also want to have that community care for people," Dostal said.

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The center will be open to the community from Monday through Thursday after December. The food pantry will open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, according to Larson.

She and others are planning to open the group up to a different demographic each week, for organization's sake.

"But everybody still gets to come once a month to get their groceries," she added.

Dostal is working on a Facebook page, but the center has posted information on its website at www.gfhope.org/carecenter .

Related Topics: FOOD
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