Pantry expansion continues

Our Lady's Pantry has been expanding slowly over the past year.  Back in the spring, Father Gilberto Quintero had the idea to move Our Lady of Guadalupe Thrift Shop to Tepeyac Hall, on the other side of the mission campus, so the Pantry could move into that somewhat larger space.

Three men in back room with 50-lb. bags of produce

This extra room serves as the perfect spot for 50-lb. bags of food. It also has become the home of our walk-in freezer in the far right-hand corner.

According to Tom Bullaro, this move yielded more storage and, importantly, has allowed our families to come indoors out of the weather, as they waited for food.

The Thrift Shop, however, included one room that was somewhat like a porch.  While under roof, the sides were open to the outdoors, thus limiting how the Pantry could utilize the room.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that any room in which we store food must be kept at 78 degrees or lower, so must be air conditioned,” says Bullaro.  “With Father Gilberto's permission, we recently laid a concrete block wall along the outside of this room, enclosing it entirely.  We painted the walls, air conditioned the space, added lighting — and now we have more shelving and more room for food.  We thank Father Gilberto for allowing us to make these modifications, which allow us to better serve our families.”

Bullaro says he was able to move all of the Pantry's freezers and refrigerators into this room, last week.

"With the food removed from our old classroom, we can now give it back to the Church, because it is needed for the children," says Bullaro.  "We will borrow the space for greeting and registering our families on Saturday mornings, however, when they for food.  Afterwards, the children get it back for all their purposes.

“The next addition we hope to add one day is an awning outside our front door to extend the Pantry a bit farther.  A roof overhead will provide some protection from the weather on Saturday mornings as we finish packing our boxes with bread, meat, and fresh foods for our families.”