Batavia food pantry to open in new location next month

Volunteer Richard Duran stocks shelves at the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet.

The Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet will be moving to a temporary location and will open for services Oct. 3, according to a news release from the city of Batavia.

The food pantry’s original location at 100 Flinn St. will be demolished as part of the city’s $136 million wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project.

The temporary location is 431 N. Raddant Road.

The food pantry eventually will move to a new permanent location, but that has yet to be identified. Last year, the food pantry was informed that it will receive a Community Funding Grant through U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, for a new space.

The Raddant Road location features about 8,500 square feet, which includes office and storage space, electrical upgrades to accommodate refrigeration and dock doors for delivery.

Operation times for the food pantry and clothes closet will remain the same, with hours at the new location beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3. Food pantry and clothes closet board members, staff and volunteers are working to move the contents of the 4,000-square-foot building at 100 Flinn St. to the new location.

“The food pantry and clothes closet already rely heavily on volunteers for much of our day-to-day operations, but the outpouring of help and support from the community for our upcoming move has been so heartwarming. Many local organizations and individuals have reached out to ask how they can assist with the move. We are so fortunate to serve in this incredibly generous community,” Eileen Pasero, executive director of the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet, said in the release.

Founded by area churches in 1981 during an economic downturn, the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry has been serving Batavia families for the past 43 years. In the 1990s, the Clothes Closet was added to the food pantry’s services. For more than three decades, they have operated at 100 Flinn St. in a building provided by the city of Batavia. However, the building’s size has become inadequate for the growing operations, prompting the need for relocation, according to the release.

“We have secured this temporary location to ensure no disruption of the vital services that the food pantry and clothes closet provide to the members of our community while we search for their forever home,” Batavia City Administrator Laura Newman said in the release.

More than 700 Batavia families are registered to use the food pantry, which serves more than 1,200 individuals (325 families) each month. The food pantry is part of the Northern Illinois Food Bank Cooperative, which is able to order food at a greatly reduced rate. The majority of food comes from food rescue, with food pantry vans visiting partner grocery stores four times a week, according to the release.

The pantry relies on 11,000 volunteer hours each year in addition to one full-time and four part-time staff members. Interested volunteers and donors are encouraged to visit for a list of needs.