Photo: The move.
When the “Burbank Brownies” of Girl Scout Troop 69200 arrived at the Belmont Food Pantry behind Belmont High School on Saturday morning, July 30, Patty Mihelich beamed.
The founder and manager of the pantry welcomed them to join nearly 50 residents in helping to transport the pantry’s entire contents – two rooms filled with food, appliances, miscellaneous material and even the six-foot high shelves – from the location next to the commuter rail tracks to one across from the Star Market parking lot on south Pleasant Street.
“I told you they would come,” said Mihelich, proud of the quick response of friends, long-time volunteers or just from residents who heard that the pantry needed a hand.
The move from its home for the past four years was necessitated by the school district’s need to find classroom space for the exploding student enrollment coming to Belmont High School.
And just five days earlier, Mihelich was still waiting for a place that could accept them on a temporary basis while a more permanent location at Mt. Hope Church on Lexington Street is being retro-fitted to accept the pantry which serves more than 200 families in Belmont.
“I was about to rent a ‘pod’ and throw everything inside,” said Mihelich about a movable storage unit.
But just five days before the move was scheduled, Paul Tocci of Belmont Car Wash made a spare garage/repair space at 1010 Pleasant available to the organization.
“He really came through as did so many people like the Board of Selectmen and these volunteers,” she said as she drove a U-Haul between the locations transporting the large shelving.
For Debbie Eisenberg and her son, Chenery eighth grader Nate Fox, “it was nice to lend a hand. We are a small town, and this is what people do.”
With the help of students such as Lilah Isenberg, Del Bonnin and Grace Kane (who learned they could lug large tubs of food while securing cereal boxes under their arms), the old location was stripped bare after 80 minutes after arriving at 8 a.m.
While there were a few false starts at Pleasant Street – the re-stacking of food and cans after some cross wires – the pantry officially was ready to resume helping families in need.
“And just think, we get to do this all over again in just a few weeks,” said Mihelich.