FACES moves to new location
The Farmville Area Community Emergency Services (FACES) Food Pantry has moved to a new building located at 482 Commerce Road next to the Southside Virginia Family YMCA, and the facility’s inaugural and second food distributions will precede its grand opening Dec. 14.
The first distribution will take place Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8-10 a.m.
“We wanted to have a run-through so that we knew what we were doing before opening,” FACES Food Pantry President Ellery Sedgwick said. “… We are hoping to get the word out to all clients. Of course, we’re posting signs and we’re going to put spots on the radio and get word out as much as we can that there will be a changed venue for the distribution.”
Sedgwick added that “we distribute mostly to Prince Edward but also fairly large numbers in Cumberland and Charlotte, and we’re just trying to make sure that everybody knows that we’re moving and where the new location is.”
There will also be a distribution the morning of Saturday, Dec. 14, prior to the 11 a.m. grand opening.
“Everybody is welcome to come and participate in that distribution,” Sedgwick said. “I’ve invited a number of local people to come and see what we do and help us, because I think the important thing for people to understand is what the facility does, not just what a nice set of equipment we have, but see it in action and get a feel for what really goes on, what gets done.
“So anybody is welcome to come at 7:30 (a.m.) or so to 10:30 (a.m.) to make the distribution,” he said, referencing the Dec. 14 schedule. “Clients begin at 8, and they run till 10:30 (a.m.), but volunteers would come, we hope, a little bit earlier.”
Sedgwick explained the benefit that the new facility will bring to FACES and the community.
“First of all, it will have double the storage space,” he said. “Our current facility is about 3,200 square feet; the new facility is 7,000. That will allow us to store a lot more. In addition, the refrigeration space and the freezer space are both doubled or more than doubled, so we will be able to increase the amount of fresh produce that we distribute. We may also be able to hold fresh produce for other pantries in the region to distribute. We believe that will mean a significant increase in the amount of fresh produce that we can hand out, and likewise, with the frozen (food), all of the frozen (food) is protein, it’s meat, mostly chicken, but a variety of other things.
“We think that for the produce and meat, protein are central to what we do, the best bang for the buck that we can give, and this will enable us to double the amount of those things that we can store and distribute,” he continued.
An organization that is associated with FACES is Feed More, and Sedgwick explained the relationship between the two groups.
“Feed More used to be called the Central Virginia Food Bank,” he said. “It’s the food bank for the area stretching from the Northern Neck down to North Carolina, so it takes in a section of the state from north to south, and it’s pretty broad also. It stretches over to abut the Tidewater food bank, and then on the other side, it abuts the Blue Ridge food bank. So it’s a large area, it’s like 32 counties.”
Referencing Feed More, Sedgwick said, “They are a food bank, which means that they store very large quantities of surplus food and distribute that food to agencies, which in term distribute them in localities. They have something like 300 agencies of which FACES is one of the largest. So, they acquire the food and sell it to us for a very nominal price.”