Food pantry faces eviction

B y Matthew Saari

The Whitehall Food Pantry, a not-for-profit effort that has been operating for decades in space provided free by the Whitehall United Methodist Church, has been informed that the church intends to start requiring $1,000 a month in rent for the operation to continue.

The Whitehall food pantry must pay $1,000 rent per month beginning Sept. 1

Volunteers who organize and administer the food pantry received a letter from the church’s board of trustees earlier this month stating that the pantry would now need to pay the church the rent, citing financial difficulties.
The pantry operates out of the United Methodist Church located on Greenmount Cemetery Lane.
Said the church’s letter: “As you may be aware, the Whitehall Methodist Church is not doing well financially. Our worship offerings are not enough to cover the expense of maintaining the church buildings and grounds. Much of the church is in disrepair, with no funds to fix it. Therefore, after many prayers and much regret, we are informing you that the church can no longer provide space and utilities at no cost to the food pantry.”
The letter was not well received by pantry officials.
“For 30-odd years it has been the church’s mission to provide us the space,” said volunteer Marie Monty. “You can’t make a profit off of a not-for-profit…that’s what we spend on food each month.”
The church set a deadline of Sept. 1 for the first payment.

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