Food pantry volunteers ready new home for Feb. 19 distribution

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CCM Photo/Thomas Clapper Rev. Gordon Warner, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry director, holds a sign denoting the new home of the food pantry and St.Vincent DePaul in Carrollton.

By Thomas Clapper

CCM Reporter


Loaves & Fishes food pantry, along with St. Vincent DePaul, are on the move from a building on Moody Avenue to a new location at 343 2nd St., Carrollton. 

“Progress is going every day and we are right in the middle of actively moving,” said Rev. Gordon Warner, Loaves & Fishes director of 25 years. “We will for sure be out before the Feb. 1 date we have to vacate the other building.”

The Moody Avenue building was purchased by the Carroll County Commissioners and is being repurposed for the Board of Elections and Job and Family Services. As a result, Loaves & Fishes had to vacate because the building will be closed for asbestos removal and a remodel.  

“The biggest challenge is mostly adjusting to being strategic with a smaller space and how to manage the flow of people with a much-reduced area of parking,” said Warner. “What we have to do is try to break people of the habit of feeling they need to be first in line. To do this we will open for more hours at the new location and there will be no parking earlier than 15 minutes before opening time.”

Warner said regardless of when they come, there is no advantage to being there sooner. The building is smaller, and it will be limited to how many people will be in at one time.

The building is the old Center Township building and the layout is one finished room, and a large heated, insulated garage area. Warner explained the main room is where customers will go for distribution, and the garage will be split in half for Loaves & Fishes and St. Vincent DePaul. 

Warner was meeting with an electrician for some wiring projects and a plumber and volunteers for other work. Some painting has been done to brighten up the garage. 

“The crew has been really good and community support has been good and appreciated,” said Warner. “Local businessmen have been helping and the landlord Mr. Ken Joseph has been very kind to us. We have got some good, dependable volunteers and whole crew who does weekly truck runs.”

Loaves & Fishes plan to reopen on Feb. 19, noon to 3 p.m., and Monday, Feb. 26, 2-5 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the old Center Township building, 343 2nd St. SE. St. Vincent DePaul will be there at the same location. 

According to Warner, on average Loaves and Fishes serves 150-200 households a month, depending on the time of the year. It is sponsored by Carroll County Ministerial Association. 

Warner noted this is Loaves & Fishes and St. Vincent DePaul’s home for the next two years as it is a two-year lease.


“As I said we are very grateful that we are able to find a place but our end goal and ideally the best outcome would be if we had our own piece of property and owned our own building,” said Warner. “We welcome any reasonable proposition or building on offer.”

The final distribution at Moody Avenue was Jan. 15.

“Generally, we appreciate the support of community and the hours of volunteer work that has gone into all of this,” said Warner. “We are also thankful for the offers of help.”

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