NORTH HARWICH — They're not quite ready for a mortgage-burning party, but Family Pantry officials are celebrating a milestone. They've surpassed the halfway mark in their bid to pay off the mortgage and construction expenses for Second Glance, their thrift shop in West Harwich.
The campaign, called “Shop for the Hungry,” has raised $542,000 of the $1 million needed to retire the debt on the thrift shop, which generates a large amount of the revenue needed to operate the pantry.
“Normally you run a capital campaign before you buy a building,” Family Pantry Executive Director Christine Menard said. But in the case of Second Glance, the property's lease expired and the store needed a new home right away. “We didn't have a choice,” she said. “We had to keep the income stream going.”
The Family Pantry provides food, clothing and referrals to thousands of local families each year, and much of its revenue comes from Second Glance. Marketed as an upscale thrift shop, the store found a new home at 265 Main St., where it offers gently-used clothing, housewares and furniture. To pay the mortgage on the new property, the Family Pantry launched Shop for the Hungry, a three-year campaign that started about a year ago. The campaign is now more than halfway to its goal, “so we're doing well,” Menard said.
After purchasing the property, the Family Pantry paid for a thorough renovation to get the store fully operational as quickly as possible. Part of the goal of Shop for the Hungry is to pay back those funds “so we can continue to buy food for those in need.”
Second Glance volunteers are now busily changing over the stock from winter clothes to springtime offerings. The store is currently featuring a selection of clothes perfect for cruise vacations.
“We're very cutting edge here,” Menard quipped. Thanks to the additional space in its new home, the store is also expanding its other offerings.
“We still have a lot of great furniture,” she said, and the items tend to be particularly popular with people who are outfitting their summer rental properties.
The revenue from Second Glance doesn't just supplement the Family Pantry's finances; it stabilizes them.
“It is very important. It's a part of our key sustainability strategy,” Menard said. Unlike grants, individual donations and support from foundations, the income from the thrift shop is fairly predictable. The revenue is particularly important in the summer, when donations typically drop off.
“That's when Second Glance kicks in,” she said.
To contribute to the Shop for the Hungry campaign, visit www.TheFamilyPantry.com or call 508-432-6519.