Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services celebrates new space
Home to food pantry, free clinic programs
For two hours on Monday evening, dozens of the organization's board members, volunteers and community members turned out to the new space for food, refreshment and to celebrate the new space.
"It's perfect for us," Sue Andrews, executive director for GBICS, said Monday night during an open house for the newly renovated space at 121 Depot St. "It's right downtown, it's highly accessible, there are no steps inside. And it supports our vision of what we want to accomplish."
GBICS, a non-profit founded in 1974, purchased the former market building in April. Its programs were moved to the new space in August from the former site, located in the First Baptist Church complex at 601 Main St.
The 3,640 square-foot space was vacant for years and just underwent some $100,000 in renovations. A well-lit entrance now greets visitors. A kitchen was also refurbished.
Some volunteers this summer came from Bennington County Habitat for Humanity, during a lull in the construction of a North Branch Street home, said Dave Low. They worked to do some construction inside the building and in the parking lot.
"We thought, why not? We're kindred folks working together," he said.
It's the new home to the organization's food distribution program, the Kitchen Cupboard, which provides food, including local produce, to about 1,200 families, or one-in-four, in Bennington. The Bennington Free Clinic, a primary care medical clinic that provides provides medical care, behavioral health screenings, interventions and referrals, physical exams, wellness education, women's health clinics, and assistance by certified Navigators with insurance programs.
The organization also offers a Food and Fuel Fund, a discretionary fund that provides assistance for families and individuals that have limited ability to pay for utilities.
More information about the organization is available at http://benningtoncares.org/bc/
Ed Damon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.
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