Ministry to expand food pantry

It will have nearly 12 times more room
Aug. 07, 2014 @ 08:35 AM

A truck loaded with 850 pounds of watermelons rolled up to the doors of the South Caldwell Christian Ministries on Wednesday, but with only 500 square feet of space in the agency's food pantry, director Deborah Thomas had to give most of the watermelons away to area churches for their Wednesday night suppers.

"We just don't have the room," Thomas said.

That will soon change. By the end of the year, SCCM in Granite Falls plans to have in place a two-story, 10,000-square-foot addition to house its food pantry operation, which will include a kitchen that can be used for cooking classes for clients.

A building campaign was launched in March to help raise money for the $500,000 project, which includes renovations to the existing building. So far, the ministry has obtained $350,000 in grants -- including $75,000 from the Duke Endowment and $30,000 from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. -- and $42,000 in donations.

Construction was to begin in late June, but a delay in getting building permits pushed the groundbreaking to possibly next week. Work is expected to take about 14 weeks, Thomas said.

SCCM is a crisis-assistance agency providing help with food, clothing and utility bills.