Photo: The ribbon cutting.
The Belmont Food Pantry has a new home, one its founder hopes will remain for years to come.
On its first Saturday, Feb. 16, at its new location on the first floor of Town Hall, the pantry’s volunteers welcomed a large number of the 200 families which are served by the nonprofit which for more than a quarter century has been serving those Belmont residents in need.
The ceremonial cutting of a red ribbon (with some oversize scissors) “officially” opened the pantry’s location was a welcomed event for Patty Mihelich, who along with an ad hoc committee and a grant from Project Bread, founded the pantry which opened in the Waverley Square Fire Station in December 1992.
“It’s a great day that we now have a place that gives us the stability to serve [residents] ,” said Mihelich on Saturday.
The pantry began a frustrating journey in search for a long-term site after the fire station was sold in 2005, moving to a modular building behind Belmont High School than to the former Belmont Light Department headquarters across from Town Hall in 2009. The pantry returned to the high school site in 2012 before moving to its latest location at Mount Hope Church on Lexington Street in 2016.
Seeking a permenant location, Town Administrator Patrice Garvin and the Board of Selectmen (Chair Adam Dash help celebrate the opening) worked with Mihelich after seeing an opportunity at Town Hall when space became avaliable after the Retirement Board moved to larger space on Concord Avenue. With two rooms that were largely unused, the decision was made to allow the community asset to come to Town Hall.
Mihelich said the new location has the advantage of parking, public transportation and a familiar, central location – many using the pantry remember when the pantry was at the Light Department – that will help assist residents in obtaining the food and sundries they require to stay feed and healthy.
“This means a lot to be [at Town Hall] and we hope that it will be a long stay,” she said.
The pantry monthly hours are:
- 1st and 3rd Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
- 2nd and 4th Tuesday: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- 4th Sunday: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.