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Hartland Food Pantry on the move

July 11, 2012

The Hartland Food Pantry is moving - and expanding. Starting Wednesday, July 18, the food pantry will be housed at 555 S. Industrial Drive. The new space will provide more space and will provide better parking options.

Created by resident Joy Vilter 25 years ago, the pantry strives to provide food to those in need and have a visual effect on the hunger that affects the Hartland community. According to Vilter, the pantry serves about 200 families a month.

"It's sad that we keep going up in numbers," said Vilter. "At the same time, the community is very generous. The more they give, the more we get to give."

Thanks to major donations from Piggly Wiggly and Roundy's, combined with collections led by local grade schools and high schools, the pantry has not had any issues financially. Organizers hope to continue to focus their efforts solely on the needs of the community.

The pantry will begin the move on Saturday from its current location at 239 Lawn St. to a bigger space at 555 S. Industrial Dr. According to Vilter, increasing their square footage was something the pantry had been wanting to do for more than a year.

"This will give us a lot more of the space we need to make it more feasible for serving," said Vilter.

The move will also accommodate the pantry's need for more parking. Vilter noted that the pantry ran into problems when the owner of the Lawn Street building owner sold part of the space to another business. Because both the pantry and the new business operated at similar hours, parking was often scarce.

With more space and better parking, Vilter said, changing locations will "eliminate their two biggest problems."

The pantry would not have been able to rent the new building without some help from the owner. Vilter expressed that the owner is renting it to them at a very reasonable price, doing it "out of the goodness of his heart."

"Without the price he offered, we wouldn't have been able to afford it," she said.

The Hartland Fire Department is contributing to the pantry's cause by helping with the move itself. Fire Department personnel will do all the heavy lifting that the move requires.

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