Farmville’s local food pantry, FACES (Farmville Area Community Emergency Services), has officially relocated to a new space as of December 2019 after a multi-year process. The food pantry, which has been in Farmville since 1981, is now located at 482 Commerce Road by the YMCA.
FACES President Ellery Sedgwick said that the move has been in talks for over five years, and has taken about that time to get everything finalized. They moved over Thanksgiving break and had their first distribution on Dec. 12.
“The last building was a decaying oil storage facility and flooded three times in the last year,” Sedgwick said on their former building.
He added that the building was too small for what they needed, and because of that, distribution occurred both indoors and outdoors, which Sedgwick noted was hard during the winter months.
Sedgwick also said that the move could not have been possible without the grant they received from FeedMore, the Central Virginia Food Bank. The bank created a five-year plan to increase distribution in rural areas, such as Farmville, which included giving FACES a $400,000 grant if they could match it.
The grant went towards building their new location completely from scratch, as well as purchasing new coolers, freezers and food.
“We try to distribute high quality food and products, so proper refrigeration is crucial, which we lacked in our old building,” Sedgwick said.
FACES volunteer Sheila Hight also added that the amount of space they have now has helped them make distribution run smoother for everyone involved.
“The new location is working out better than the old one in terms of the amount of space we have,” she said.
Hight also added that they are always looking for new volunteers, and encourages students to come help. FACES bags all of the meals on Thursday afternoons at 4 p.m., and then distributes to families on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. Students who are interested are encouraged to volunteer.
To learn more about FACES and what you can do to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (434) 392-6277.