Last weekend, members of the Bountiful Community Council, food pantry volunteers and Bountiful Community Church members officially broke ground on the new facility which will enable the pantry to serve the burgeoning number of people needing help, as well as make food distribution easier.
With the wind blowing, nearly all the 20 or so people attending the ceremony took a hand at turning a shovelful of dirt.
While it was the official groundbreaking, work had already begun on the foundation to get a jump on winter.
Barbara Wolfe, co-director of the pantry, told those gathered that she and the other volunteers had waited 30 years to expand the pantry. And, while she said that she wished the need wasn't so great that they had to expand it, "I'll be a happy camper," when it is completed."
Chuck Swallow, co-director of the food pantry, said he recalls when the pantry was nothing more than a folding table set up in the church parking lot, and volunteers would bag two or three cans of food to give the 10 to 15 people they served weekly.
Today it serves 1,200 to 1,300 individuals in about 350 families.
Bountiful City council member John Pitt noted that while the increased need for an expanded food pantry may not be something to celebrate, "we can celebrate the love and service which has gone into the work here."
The increasing need for food pantry services has put a strain on the current pantry.Volunteers have to move thousands of pounds of food several times yearly from the church gymnasium to the pantry, dragging it over the carpet. At times packages have broken open and bottles have broken, creating a mess, according to pantry director Barbara Wolfe. Once, she said, a two-pound bottle of honey broke and the contents soaked into the carpet.The new pantry will have a loading dock to handle semi-trucks of food, rather than having volunteers unload the truck one box at a time.