SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 5, 2014

Haven from Hunger buys building, plans renovations

PEABODY — After 26 years in the basement, Haven from Hunger finally has the whole lodge for itself.

The local food pantry, which also serves clients in Salem and Lynnfield, purchased the building at 71 Wallis St. from the Moose Lodge in late February and plans to make extensive renovations, provide handicapped access and offer more programs.

The nonprofit organization has faced greater demand for services in recent years while coping with cramped quarters, access issues and more donated food than space to store it. In the winter, clients have to stand outside in the cold to wait for service, because there’s not enough room inside. The pantry currently serves 1,500 clients a month and feeds 35 to 50 people at dinners four nights a week.

“We are in a basement that is falling apart,” said Alyse Barbash, Haven’s executive director. “After the significant renovations, the Haven from Hunger will be fully up to code and 100 percent ADA compliant.”

Non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act also has prevented the pantry from receiving state or federal funds.

“I want it to be a place where clients want to come in and feel respected,” Barbash said.

Plans are to move the kitchen upstairs and upgrade it to a full commercial setup, expand the pantry area, move the dining hall upstairs, create a new multipurpose room upstairs and adding a covered waiting area outside. The area where clients eat dinner now and pick up bagged groceries will be converted into a “supermarket” with food stocked on rows of shelves, said Barbash. The same types of items will be available, but clients will be able to choose what they want. There will also be lots more windows.

The new dining hall will seat 98 and Barbash is in talks with other agencies to run nutrition classes, dental clinics and other workshops in the new multipurpose room.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act'
Comments Tracker