The Care Center has grown to serve more than 600 families (2,100 individuals) each week!
About the Project
In 2014, the Grace Care Center had a vision to expand the capacity of the Choice Food Pantry by renovating a new, dedicated space in the basketball gym at Grace Church. The Foundation was able to raise $750,000 to fully fund the project! In January, 2020, Grace Church held a Grand Opening to celebrate a new and expanded Choice Food Pantry, a new Thrift Store, a new and bigger dedicated space for Referral Services, and a bigger dedicated space for the Welcome and Hospitality Center. In addition, the parking lot was redesigned where Grace Care Center friends picked up their groceries, with more protection from the weather, better lighting, and new overhangs.
The Return on Investment
The Grace Care Center Expansion doubled the capacity of the Choice Food Pantry and improved the quality of the space for Referral Services which leads to better and more effective coaching sessions. In addition, the new Thrift Store was part of a strategy to increase income-generating activities in the Care Center to lead towards financial sustainability of the Care Center in the future. In the second year of operating the Thrift Store, it is already providing 25% of Grace Care Center operating cost.
When the newly expanded Grace Care Center opened in January, 2020, little did the leaders know that in two months, the world would change with the onset of the COVID pandemic. The expansion allowed the Grace Care Center to change operations within a week and begin safely providing the same Choice Food Pantry items but through an online ordering system. The number of families served weekly doubled within a month. And the new outside space provided a safe environment to have Care Center friends drive-thru and pick up their orders, and eventually an army of volunteers to deliver grocery orders to more than 900 families a week. The newly expanded space allowed the Grace Care Center to effectively and safely provide needed resources for the community.
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