Posted Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

The Morris County Freeholders today assisted representatives of the Interfaith Food Pantry break ground for a new, 13,000-square-foot facility on Executive Drive in Parsippany that will serve as the Food Pantry’s warehouse and primary distribution site.

Freeholder Director Gene Feyl said the freeholder board is leasing the county-owned property to the Food Pantry for $1.

“Morris County is blessed to have numerous organizations like the Interfaith Food Pantry that provide assistance to our residents in need,” Feyl said. “The freeholders are proud to partner with the Food Pantry in this endeavor.”

For the past 11 years, the Food Pantry has been housed in the county’s former Morris View Nursing Home on West Hanover Avenue in Morris Township. However, Rosemary Gilmartin, the Food Pantry’s executive director, said the agency has outgrown that space.

The new building, funded by private donations from the community, will feature the Pantry’s signature “Client Choice” center, which allows patrons to select the foods that most meet their family needs.

Also included in the new facility will be more than 3,200 square feet of warehouse space, a loading dock, refrigerators and freezers and counseling and interview rooms. In addition, there will be an education center for self-sufficiency workshops, a “Healthy Choices” nutrition program and a commercial kitchen that will enable the Pantry to reclaim food locally.

The new building will be near the new “non-profit mall” the freeholders plan to develop that now includes the Interfaith Council for Homeless Families, NJ AIDS Services, the ARC and Community Hope.