Hilton Head food pantry ordered to close

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Hilton Head food pantry ordered to close

By LAURA NAHMIAS lnahmias@islandpacket.com 843-706-8169
Published Thursday, January 28, 2010   |  291 Words  |  news

A food pantry that Hilton Head Island residents have relied on for nearly a year has until Sunday to move, and it doesn't have a new location, according to its founder.
The Rev. Dr. Nannette Pierson started the pantry out of her apartment in Sandalwood Terrace in February, serving five families. It now helps 350 people each Tuesday and Friday afternoon, she said.
Pierson said the apartment complex's manager ordered her to get rid of the pantry.
"We greatly appreciate your dedication and service to provide food and clothing to people in need," the letter to Pierson said. "However, your food pantry has out grown Sandalwood's capacity to serve."
The manager of the complex refused to comment Thursday, referring all questions to Pierson.
The pantry gets most of its food from Second Helpings, which delivers food twice a week. In addition to offering both meals and groceries, the pantry offers clothes and a children's playroom.
"She started out with nothing," Gerri Jones, Second Helpings administrator, said of Pierson's food bank. "She worked her head off."
Jones said Pierson applied for and received nonprofit status, qualifying her for participation in Second Helpings, which serves about 70 agencies with food for the needy.
Pierson says she can't move the pantry far from the Sandalwood complex because so many people who rely on its goods and services don't have cars or bicycles.
"I feel very bad about it closing," said pantry volunteer Jennette Bryan, who says she doesn't know what the pantry's clients will do in its absence.
Pantry volunteers are currently searching for other locations.
"I promised these mothers and fathers and their babies I would not let them down," said Pierson.