The Perinton Food Shelf recently found a new location.
The food shelf was founded in the early 1980s by a consortium of area churches in an effort to help local people with a short-term food emergency. Early on, the food shelf operated out of limited available church space. In the late 1980s, Fairport Village graciously made the empty Old Northside Fire Hall on North Main Street available for use by the food shelf, an assist to the food shelf’s operations. In 2006, the village felt compelled to sell the building and a fund drive supported by local residents allowed the food shelf to purchase the site.
Since then, client needs have expanded from an average of food for 22,000 meals a year in the 2000-09 period to 35,000 for 2013-16. New services were offered, such as yummy boxes for school age children to help replace the school lunch program for the summer and fresh produce to support a more healthy diet. The use of Food Link as a vendor helped to reduce costs, but created logistics problems with pallet loads delivered to the front sidewalk and little storage room for the larger deliveries. The need for more space that included improved parking for deliveries and pick up was considered overwhelming.
After a yearlong search for suitable space, the food shelf identified a fit at the Canal Works on Turk Hill Road near the canal. More space combined with good access made it adequate for the future as well. This new location combined with the community support and the efforts of the 100 plus volunteers will allow the food shelf to continue to meet the emergency food needs of Perinton residents.