Lincoln County’s newest food pantry for the needy, or just temporarily so, received either a $1,600 gift from the Newport City Council Monday night, or as much as $1,900. It depends on how things work out after all the building, water and sewer fees are tallied.
Newport Food Pantry Board member Lurlyn Patrick told the council that her non-profit had budgeted only around $800 for city fees when they moved a former portable school building from Yaquina View School to its new location, and new function as a food pantry on the grounds of the First Presbyterian Church on NW 12th. The two operations are completely separate.
The council pondered whether to allocate money from their newly created $10,000 fund to be divided up among local non-profits or make an immediate grant award to the pantry so they can have their scheduled opening on time. The council decided to allocate between $1,600 and $1,900 dollars depending on how the fees were levied by the city community development department. Those fees cannot be waived, they said, because the bulk of them are for system development fees which cannot be waived according to city code. System development fees are levied on new construction as they incrementally consume their fractional capacity of the town’s water and sewer systems.
The Newport Food Pantry is the county’s newest pantry which works in tandem with Food Share of Lincoln County. Food Share imports and collects donated food for distribution from its warehouse on NE 1st Street in Newport. From there it goes to the far flung reaches of Lincoln County at various pantry locations. Newport was the last remaining major population center without a pantry apart from Food Share. Food Share said the Newport Pantry will allow Food Share to concentrate on collection and distribution of food in a more efficient way and food recipients in Newport will have a more convenient “pantry” shopping experience when they come for food.
The Newport Pantry will be fully wheel-chair accessible and offer a wide variety of food as one would experience in a regular grocery store. It’s expected to be open in the very near future as their new facility gets its finishing touches on the installation. Local construction and building suppliers have donated time and materials to the project. Food Pantry officials say they will be thanked and praised loudly and often so the whole community will learn of their good work and donations.