On Sunday Sept. 11 the Ballard Vale United Church will be opening a community pantry located in their parking lot.

“This is a unique-to-town self-serve pantry and refrigerator where people can drop off food donations and those in need can help themselves to these items 24 hours a day,’ said Shari McLeod, an executive committee member at BVUC.

“It’s a standalone building that will have one side for dry goods, non-perishables and one side that will be refrigerated,” McLeod added.

When the pantry opens the church will also be hosting their “rally day block party to kick off fall activities” as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony for the community pantry, McLeod said.

Adam Isbitsky, pastor at the church, said the pantry will allow people to easily drop off and pick up food, due to it being open 24 hours and accessible to anyone in the community.

Isbitsky added that the project is important in part due to hardships brought on by the pandemic and rising food prices.

The project was made possible by a sponsorship from the the Trauma Intervention Program and help from the Andover Handyman and Sunnybank LLC, said McLeod.

Glen McLeod, moderator at the church and one of the builders of the pantry, advised people to bring in anything non-perishable for dry goods and foods like vegetables for the refrigerated section.

“We want something that is going to hold up in the refrigerator,” Glen McLeod said.

Glen McLeod added that on day of the kick-off and ribbon cutting ceremony they will be hosting a number of community partners like Voices of Hope and local boy scouts at the event. There will also be a food truck, he added.

Ballard Vale United Church and the food pantry are located on 23 Clark Rd. in Andover.

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