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Dillard-Winston Food Pantry reopens after church fire

The city and community have come together to help the food pantry at its new but temporary location.

Posted: Mar 15, 2021 1:39 PM
Updated: Mar 15, 2021 5:44 PM

WINSTON, Ore. – The Dillard-Winston Food Pantry has finally reopened after the Church of the Nazarene went up in flames two weeks ago.

The pantry was located inside the church for the last three years. Volunteers said they lost about 5,000 pounds of food in the fire.

With the help of the City of Winston and the Winston Melon Festival Association, the pantry has been moved to the pavilion building in Riverbend Park. Volunteers said many people have come through over the last two weeks to set up the pantry in their new, temporary home.

RELATED: A FIRE IN WINSTON IS UNDER INVESTIGATION AFTER CHURCH IS BADLY BURNED

Volunteer Bernice McClellan said their main priorty after the fire was to get the pantry open as soon as possible. 

“Getting this up and running, we just felt it was important to those people in our community who rely on the pantry for extra food,"
she said. 

Although a lot of food was lost in the fire, McClellan said they had another 5,000 pounds in a storage pod behind the church. They are  using that food for the pantry right now. She also said they’re getting a lot of cash and food donations from the community.

“We did this in a week, so you know we had all kinds of volunteer help," said McClellan. 

Volunteer Bonnie Baird said she's really proud of the community for all their help.

“It’s a lot of food to juggle and to try and get organized, but we made it," she said. 

Although they’re thankful for the building they’re in right now, McClellan  said they hope to move back into the church when it’s rebuilt. However, she doesn't expect that to happen for another few years.

“The new pastor said when we build, we want you back with us," McClellan said. "We like that partnership.”

They said the pastor is still waiting to hear back from the insurance company about how much they’ll cover for the rebuild.

The pantry is open every Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m. 

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