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Md. Food Pantry Finds Temporary Home After Church Fire

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OCEAN CITY, Md. — The Shepherd’s Crook food pantry has found a temporary location home on Ocean City’s boardwalk after a fire destroyed its location at St. Paul’s By-The-Sea.

The food pantry is now open in Conner’s Beach Café on the Boardwalk, less than a block away from the church, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The pantry operated out of a mini-van after the November fire at the parish hall.

“We’re doing the best we can with what we have,” said Bruce Young, administrator of the food pantry. Most of the pantry’s regulars have found the new location, he said. There isn’t room for the racks of clothing, but volunteers keep some on hand to fulfill requests.

Young says they are grateful to church members and cafe owners Kevin and Jackie Ball, who offered the space since the cafe is typically closed until mid-February.

“We felt like it was the right thing to do,” said Kevin Ball, who has been running the cafe with his wife for about a dozen years.

Ball volunteers with the pantry and knows how important it is to the community, especially during the winter when many people can’t find work in the resort town.

“We believe in it and didn’t want to abandon them in the holiday season,” he said. He has postponed the cafe kitchen’s annual cleaning kitchen so the food pantry can keep its schedule and use the space until the first week of February.

Young is trying to figure out where the operation will move then.

“I don’t think we’re going back to the van,” Young said, “but if that’s the first place that comes up, we’ll be there.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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