Foothills Rural Community Ministry raises funds for new facility

The Foothills Rural Community Ministry (FRCM) has outgrown its current space and is now raising funds for a new facility.

After nearly 40 years of operation from its location in Holland Patent’s historic first Presbyterian Church, the community-driven nonprofit is looking to build or purchase a new venue to carry out its mission of providing for the needs of the needy in the region.

Sonya Ellinger, FRCM’s director of operations, cites the lack of storage areas and accessibility issues among the reasons the FRCM has to relocate. Although there is accessibility for people with disabilities in the church, there is no accessibility to the basement pantry, nor to the thrift store on the third floor. Pantry food deliveries consist of five to eight pallets of food that need to be carried downstairs by many volunteers, while pantry open days consist of bringing these groceries up the stairs to the doorstep. vehicles waiting.

“Elderly and disabled people, clients and volunteers alike have difficulty maneuvering stairs and sometimes cannot,” she said. “Foothills looked for different avenues to help resolve these issues, but unfortunately were unable to find a solution.”

There is an active GoFundMe campaign where people can donate ( @ Foothills Building Campaign) or donations can be sent to FRCM, PO Box 156, Holland Patent, NY 13354. They ask contributors to add “Building Fund ”in the memo. line. 2021 nonprofit donations are tax deductible, Ellinger added. Those with questions are encouraged to call Director of Operations Ellinger at 315-865-5854.

The FRCM is run primarily by volunteers and is governed by its own board. Its main program is the Pantry Outreach Program, which helps feed local low-income families or families in need of temporary help with food. FRCM also operates Sarah’s Pet Pantry, a unique pet food supply program within the pantry. The Country Corner Thrift Shop, another leg of the FRCM operation, is a low-cost thrift store open to the public. Her hours generally correlate with the pantry, although due to COVID, the current hours may be limited. Other programs run by the FRCM are the Backpacks for Local Schools program, a Christmas basket program, and the Park Coffee House, an open concert series that helps raise funds to fuel the pantry program. .

When the fundraising campaign began, the FRCM was in talks with a local location, but this property was sold before a contract was written.

The FRCM service area primarily consists of Holland Patent and Remsen school districts, although some of the outlying areas of FRCM include Whitesboro, Oriskany, Deerfield, Steuben, and Poland. There are a few properties central to these parameters that the committee is actively reviewing. FRCM needs a building over 9,000 square feet, one story, or 2-3 acres of building property, and it must be semi-trailer accessible with plenty of parking.

“As the hopes and dreams grow, Foothills would like to have a new building by the end of 2021,” Ellinger said. “However, the campaign will remain in effect until Foothills can acquire property.”

About Keneth T. Graves

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