Food pantry seeks new home

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A Touch of the Father’s Love Ministry and Food Pantry volunteer David Hill puts a box of food into the back of a vehicle Wednesday in the Battleboro community.


Staff Writer

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A local food pantry ministry is hoping the public can help provide monetary assistance as it seeks to find a new facility to continue its ability to feed people in need in the community.

A Touch of the Father’s Love Ministry and Food Pantry in the Battleboro community will have to relocate from its location at 200 W. Battleboro Ave. by the end of the year. April Baker, who operates A Touch of the Father’s Love Ministry and Food Pantry, said the 501(c)3 nonprofit food pantry ministry has been operating in Battleboro since 2012.  

However, Baker said, building owner Joel Boseman is ready to take back the building.

“We were able to stay in the building rent-free, and we’re so very grateful to Mr. Boseman for his generosity and now we need a new location within three months,” Baker said. “We do feel the urgency, and we’re desperately looking for a building. But we know that God has blessed this ministry and will help us find a way.”

Baker said the ministry’s goal is to move into a larger facility and has found an ideal building at 1600 N. Wesleyan Blvd. It was formerly known as JR Steakhouse and owned by businessman Jerry Wordsworth, she said. Baker wants to contact Wordsworth to hopefully see if he would consider donating the building. 

The more than 5,000-square-foot building would double the ministry’s current space of 2,200 square feet. It also would have room for a future worship center, Baker said. If the ministry has to purchase the building, it would have to come up with $350,000 to buy it, she added.

“It’s a great location and the parking lot is huge,” Baker said. “We need a bigger parking lot because Saturdays are our biggest give-outs.” 

A Touch of the Father’s Love Ministry and Food Pantry works with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to provide food to people in Nash County and surrounding areas. The nonprofit organization brings in food three days a week and gives out food twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The give-outs also include a pet food pantry.

The ministry mostly serves people by appointment, with a large number being veterans and senior citizens — however, walk-ins can also receive food. People are able to get the boxes of food once a month.

Baker said the boxes of food usually weigh between 70 to 80 pounds, equipped with fresh produce, dairy items, drinks, bread, meats and other items.

“The food bank is willing to send us more food, but we can’t store it because our building is so small,” she said. “With a larger facility, we could be bringing in more food and serving more people.”

Last month, the ministry served a reported 2,248 households, which equals 6,561 people. Since the beginning of the year, the ministry has fed 18,988 households and 55,188 people. A Touch of the Father’s Love Ministry and Food Pantry has brought in close to a million pounds of food this year, Baker said.

She added it is important to keep the ministry going because of stories shared by the people it serves.

“We’ve heard stories where people had to chose their medications over groceries,” Baker said. “I know there are so many people from their testimonies that say they don’t know what they would do without this food ministry.”

For more information on A Touch of the Father’s Love Ministry and Food Pantry, contact Baker at 252-377-2209.