BENNINGTON — The Kitchen Cupboard food distribution center will move this month from its Gage Street home to a new, temporary location.
The center is moving into space at the First Baptist Church at 601 Main St., according to Sue Andrews, executive director for the Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services (GBICS). The first distribution will take place on Sept. 10.
"It would not have been our choice to leave that location. Unfortunately, that building is in foreclosure," Andrews said on Wednesday. "But we're fortunate to set up shop temporarily at the church, where our other programs are located."
GBICS opened the Kitchen Cupboard, which provides people in need with food twice a week, in 2011. Andrews said she expects the center to be at the church for four to six months, or even less. The GBICS board seeks a permanent location to house the Kitchen Cupboard and the organization's other programs.
Volunteers are in the process this week of moving items out of the Gage Street space and into the church, Andrews said. While the program moves, there will be no food distributions on the regularly scheduled days of Saturday, Sept. 3, and Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The first food distribution at the First Baptist Church will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 2 to 6 p.m.
After that, the center will have new hours. Food distribution will take place on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and on Saturdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Kitchen Cupboard opened at 800 Gage St. in April 2011. The building at 800-804 Gage St. includes the commercial space, which holds the center, and two residential units.
Volunteers have given out nearly half a million pounds of food over the past five-and-a-half years, Andrew said. And one in every five Bennington residents receives assistance from the center.
The organization partners with local farms and donors to give out fresh, healthy food, Andrews said. Volunteers regularly run cooking demonstrations to show people how to prepare vegetables, meat and other items they may not be familiar with.
At the First Baptist Church, GBICS also runs the Bennington Free Clinic, which provides uninsured adults with physical exams, women's health services, routine primary care and other medical services. People who need help applying for health insurance can get help from a team of health "Navigators."
GBICS's strategic plan calls for bringing all of the programs together at one location, which Andrews said would help the organization accomplish its mission.
The organization recently had a purchase and sales agreement for a property: 431 Main St., the former location of Rehm-Brandt's Design, which closed last fall. Andrews said that agreement did not move forward because the building needed more work than the organization could deal with.
"The search goes on," she said.
Andrews said anyone with questions can call her at 802-379-1049. More information about the Kitchen Cupboard and other programs of the Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services is available at www.benningtoncares.org.
Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.