Food bank looking to expand its reach
Date posted: April 9, 2014
SHERIDAN — The People’s Assistance Food Bank on North Main Street is hoping to come up with funds to purchase the land and building the charity business has used as a base of operations for the past eight years. While the food bank has been using an old gas station as a hub for distributing food to those in need rent free, the organization has recently been notified the land will be posted for sale.
The land used by the PAFB is owned by the Holiday gas station company. Holiday’s Vice President of Real Estate Dave Hoeschen said that while Holiday supports the efforts of the food bank, financial realities have dictated something must be done with the vacant company land.
“We are glad to have them use it,” Hoeschen said. “But, at some point, we have to figure out if we intend to develop there or not and it appears we’re not likely to.”
Hoeschen sent an e-mail to Food Bank Manager Dan Lick Tuesday indicating it is the intention of the Holiday company to place the building and lot up for sale. Hoeschen also said in the letter that Holiday originally paid $281,000 for the property and have accumulated holding costs throughout the course of ownership. The property was offered to the PAFB for $300,000, which, Lick said, is likely lower than what the list price would be on the commercial market.
“We’re sorry we have to retract it,but we think it’s been a long time and we have to deal with the property,” Hoeschen said.
Lick said he’s grateful to have been able to use the land for this long.
“They do everything they can for us,” Lick said, adding that he hopes to raise money to buy the land by enlisting local agencies to help in fundraising efforts. The Holiday company did not set a deadline regarding when they plan to execute any sale transaction of the land.
“They’ve left it very open,” Lick said, indicating he feels confident the company will allow a reasonable period of time for fundraising.
Lick also said the PAFB has presently amassed approximately $25,000 in a general fund bank account over the past year.
The PAFB currently provides free food to approximately 1,000 people weekly. Lick estimates between 200 and 300 families visit the facility each week.
“Our cupboards have been really bare, and it’s not because we’re not getting a good amount of food,” Lick said. “We’re just seeing so many people.”
The PAFB is a subsidiary of Lick’s other nonprofit, Payee Assistance Management, Inc. In close operation with the food pantry, Payee Assistance provides financial help for those in need by providing financial resources for utility bills, necessary items and extenuating circumstances. The entity can also act as a financial custodian for individuals unable to independently manage their money.
In addition to handing out groceries three days a week and financial assistance services, the PAFB can also provide clients access to counseling and legal services.