A Johnstown food pantry is in danger of closing if they can’t find a new home

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JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — A Johnstown food pantry is in danger of closing if they can’t find a new home.

“If we don’t find a home we will have to shut down and they will have to travel out of the area to Upper Yoder Township or Franklin Street to receive food,” says Sandy Alwine, co-director of the Park Avenue Food Pantry.

With the Park Avenue United Methodist Church closing at the end of June, the Park Avenue Food Pantry is in trouble.

The pantry has been housed by the church since 1982 at no cost.

“With the church closing, we’re losing our home and we need to find a new home for the food pantry,” says Alwine.

The pantry serves folks the first and third Wednesday of each month and that’s typically around 100 families in Moxham.

“A lot of people that walk to and from the pantry and don’t have transportation to get to a further distanced location,” says Len Findley, Pastor at Park Avenue United Methodist Church.

“It’s not so bad now, but in the wintertime when it’s snowing and raining and you have to walk that far it would be an awful task,” says Alwine.

The next closest pantries are a couple miles away in Upper Yoder Township and on Franklin Street.

Alwine says the pantry is now looking for a place they can call home again.

“If we have to start paying for utility bills and run of a building then that doesn’t give us much money left over to get food.”

“It involves housing the food and all of that but what they get in return is such a feel-good ministry. To be able to see these little kids walk in and know that you’re feeding small children and keeping them safe for the next generation,” says Findley. “If ministry comes to a close because there’s no need, that’s one thing but if ministry comes to a close because there’s nowhere to have it, that creates a sad situation.”

Those interested in making donations to the pantry or know of a new home can give the church a call at 814-288-4725, Monday through Thursdays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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