Standish Food Pantry back in business

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STANDISH — After a name change, Catherine’s Cupboard Food Pantry, now called Standish Food Pantry, “is up and running” at Standish Town Hall.

The name change came about because Saint Joseph’s College, which ran the food pantry until Dec. 19, will continue to do other work under the name Catherine’s Cupboard. 

“Saint Joe’s is not closing Catherine’s Cupboard, they’re changing their by-laws. Before they ran a Standish food pantry, now they are going to support a Standish food pantry,” said Amy Fitzgerald, who was a Catherine’s Cupboard volunteer for six years and now runs Standish Food Pantry. 

Fitzgerald took over after the college announced in mid-November that it would no longer run the food pantry. 

The pantry is a separate entity from Catherine’s Cupboard and is not affiliated with Saint Joseph’s College, although Fitzgerald said the college is working with the new pantry. 

“They’re giving us some time to do a transition period. It’s going to help support the pantry in any ways we might need,” she said.

The pantry will continue to operate as it normally would, opening on Monday mornings and Wednesday evenings. It will continue to distribute senior boxes and will be located in Standish Town Hall for the foreseeable future. 

Fitzgerald said a public meeting Jan. 3 had “a great turnout” and “got the ball moving fast.”

The pantry has formed a nine-person steering committee, which Fitzgerald anticipates will meet weekly. 

According to Tim Goodwin, a member of the committee, “Standish Food Pantry has established recognition with both the state and federal government. We have a bank account and a P.O. box. Standish Food Pantry is up and running.”

The next step, Goodwin said, is creating formal by-laws so the pantry can apply for 501(c)3 nonprofit status. Goodwin anticipates the by-laws will be written within a week. 

However, “the application with the IRS takes quite a while. There is currently a backlog of requests with the IRS, and the (government) shutdown is not making that go any faster. I am hopeful that will be done by the end of this calendar year, but there’s no guarantee.”

Some of the organizations the pantry receives food from, such as Wayside Food Programs and Hannaford Supermarkets, require that a pantry be a 501(c)3 to receive food, Goodwin said. For now, Standish Food Pantry is taking advantage of the fact that Catherine’s Cupboard is a 501(c)3, so it can receive food through the Cupboard. 

Fitzgerald and Goodwin hope the transition will occur smoothly. 

“The hope is that, aside from the name change, those who are receiving services won’t see any disruption,” Goodwin said.

Fitzgerald said the Pantry is in need of more volunteers – she estimates there are currently 12 to 14 – and monetary donations, which can be sent to the pantry at P.O. Box 463 in Standish. 

“We’re hoping to change minimal things. I think everything’s going to go very smoothly. I’m thinking that this year will be kind of an exciting year,” she said. 

Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at jvaughan@keepmecurrent.com. 

Volunteer Patricia Waters organizes food at Standish Food Pantry Jan. 7. 

Standish Food Pantry provides a shopping experience for clients on Monday mornings. 

Amy Fitzgerald chats with clients at the Standish Food Pantry on Monday. 

The Standish Food Pantry at Town Hall is open 9-10:30 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays 5-6:30 p.m.