BENSON — When Food Pantry volunteers learned they would be moving to a new facility, some had concerns about how the community would respond to the change.
Based on the number of vehicles lined up for the first distribution out of the Calvary Baptist Church campus last Wednesday, location is not going to be an issue.
The Community Food Pantry of Benson had been operating out of an area known as Easy Street for more than 30 years. Every Wednesday morning, a long line of vehicles started lining up at 7 for the weekly distribution, which runs from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Despite the change in location, last Wednesday was no different.
“Our first day working out of this facility was a bit hectic, but we expected that,” said Carol Jenkins, a 10-year food pantry volunteer. “I was happy that we had a great turnout, with people lining up early, like always. This is a much cleaner, nicer building than what we had before. There’s room on the church campus for two lines of traffic, so vehicles aren’t lining up on a main road, which is much safer for everyone.”
Just as volunteers seemed pleased with the new arrangement, so were the people that participate in the distribution every week.
“I live in St. David, so wasn’t sure how I felt about driving the extra four miles, but now that I’m here, I think it’s just fine,” said Jan Davis. “I hope it’s easier for the volunteers. They are a very dedicated group and they all work so hard.”
Julia and Dave Julian of Mescal are happy about the change.
“We love this location and we love this church,” Dave said. “We appreciate the church doing this because the food pantry provides a great service for our community.”
Julia echoed her husband’s comments.
“I’m absolutely excited that the Community Food Pantry can work out of this location,” she said. “It’s a wonderful improvement for a great nonprofit that does a lot for the community.”
Members of the Calvary Church congregation, along with Pastor Dan King, greeted people as they drove onto the church campus and assisted with traffic control.
“Everything is going really well,” King said. “Traffic is moving along smoothly and people seem happy about being here.”
Seven hundred people benefited from Wednesday’s distribution.