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Schroon food pantry moves to new home in old town hall

Town water, parks departments also move

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The Schroon Lake Food Pantry, led by Lenchen Marnell, has moved to a new location at the intersection of Broad and Fairfield streets. The pantry’s new home is a building that housed the town hall until 1978 and the town fire company until 1989. The food shelf now shares the 4,000 square foot building with Schroon’s water and parks departments.

— The Schroon Lake Food Pantry served nearly 5,000 people during 2013 — in a space not much larger than a closet.

That’s all changed, though. The pantry has moved to a new location at the intersection of Broad and Fairfield streets, a building that housed the town hall until 1978 and the town fire company until 1989.

The food shelf now shares the 4,000 square-foot building with Schroon’s water and parks departments.

“We’re so happy,” said Lenchen Marnell, the pantry’s volunteer manager. “It’s been 13 years in the cold and dark. This is going to be very different; much better.”

The pantry had been located in the basement of the Schroon Lake health center, which has no heat and no windows.

The new food pantry not only has heat and windows, it is handicap accessible, offers plenty of parking and has restrooms.

“It’s a big step up,” Schroon Supervisor Mike Marnell said. “This is a good project for the town. Not only does it help the food pantry, but our water and parks departments benefit, too.”

The water and parks departments have about twice the space in their new homes as well as storage areas in the basement.

After the Schroon Lake Fire Department moved to a new home in 1989, the building was sold and used as a auto body shop for about eight years, Mike Marnell said. It then sat empty until the town purchased it for $155,000 about five years ago with the idea of moving the community library to the building.

That plan failed to materialize when state library mandates forced the cost of renovation to about $1 million, Supervisor Marnell said, more than the town could afford.

The cost to renovate the building for the food pantry, water and park use was $15,000, the supervisor said, with town employees doing most of the work.

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