HOPEWELL COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hopewell Food Pantry is looking for a new home after the new owner gives them 60 days to relocate.
The Hopewell Food Pantry has been located on Broadway Avenue for the past 33 years. Now they are being forced to find a new home. The chairman for the pantry board says that new home is likely will cost more money.
The Hopewell Food Pantry offers a service to Hopewell residents who need food the most.
Donald Emory, food pantry client, depends on this pantry for food.
“If I didn’t have the food pantry, I wouldn’t know where I would go to get food,” said Emory.
He has also started volunteering to help give back
Richard Commander, chairman for Hopewell Food Pantry, says a change of the times means for him a change of location.
“Hopewell wants to make their downtown more business oriented and more likely to have businesses that sell things rather than non-profits like us,” Commander said.
For the past several years the Pantry has been working with the Hopewell Downtown Partnership to relocate to a larger space outside of downtown. But just recently the new owner of the building, Naomi Brown and her husband gave them a 60 day notice.
“Well for one thing they are not open all day long so that could be a space better used for a clothing store or even a restaurant and it’s in a prime location,” Brown said.
Brown not only owns this building but also several of the buildings around the area including her own antique store directly across the street.
Brown says there are traffic problems during rush hour due to the pantry.
“They double park and it makes it a hindrance for the people driving past,” she said.
She also worries about some activities that take place at the pantry keeping families and other business owners from feeling safe.
“Sometimes there lewd behavior, fighting, cursing,” said Brown
At the food pantry they say they have a lead on a bigger location which will cost more.
They also say there are no hard feelings.
“I don’t want to say anything bad about it because truth of the matter is they want to make this place down here more of a business center and we are not a business,” Commander said.