Wow. Community Action Center has done an ambitious remodel of the Food Shelf and Clothes Closet, and the place looks great.
The Clothes Closet reopened yesterday – new dressing rooms, easy-to-browse racks, sleek display shelves for housewares, and lots of new clothes to check out. Clothes Closet averages 25 to 30 shoppers a day . . . and most of the regulars have already stopped in. All the merchandise is donated; all Clothes Closet revenue helps fund Community Action Center programs. It’s a great way to clean out a wardrobe (or fill in a wardrobe) and contribute to those in need.
The Food Shelf opens its new space on Thursday. The new layout has wider aisles for shopping carts, more efficient storage space, and a slick new prep area for washing and sorting fresh produce. It’s a substantial set-up for a busy operation: the Food Shelf helps feed 1,400 people a month. It provides over 600,000 pounds of food a year for 500 Northfield families. Everyone gets fresh produce, baked goods, meat, milk and cheese – a nutritious mix. CAC’s buying power goes a long way: What you’d get for $200 at the supermarket, CAC can get for $50 at the food bank.
The renovation took two months, dozens of volunteers – including local contractors – and most of CAC’s 14 staffers. The Food Shelf never shut down during the two-month renovation; staff and volunteers ran the operation in the hallways of the NCRC.
CAC didn’t need a capital campaign to fund the project. Its base of local donations – including donations through Northfield Area United Way – covered the cost. Now THAT’S community action.
Congrats to Jim Blaha, the CAC staff, the many volunteers and donors who made it happen.