Facing closure, Windsor Twp. food pantry finds new home

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

A food pantry facing closure because of traffic complaints has found a new base to continue its operations.

Red Lion Little Free Food Pantry, slated to close July 3, will instead move a few blocks away to the parking lot of Living Word Community Church — just down the street from the pantry's location on Cape Horn Road.

"When we were in trouble, my church came through," said pantry owner Jerry Pilachowski. "It's going to be really great, and we're looking forward to it."

Red Lion Little Free Food Pantry, which had opened in March as a response to an increased demand for food during the COVID-19 pandemic, was facing closure after the York Area Regional Police Department received complaints from residents.

Jerry Pilachowski walks past a sign at his Little Free Food Pantry on Cape Horn Road in Red Lion Tuesday, April 21, 2020. The tented pantry, situated in front of his home and business, has been in operation for three weeks. He's been using his own money plus monetary and food donations to run it. A GoFundMe page for the pantry is at: https://bit.ly/3eHgF77. Bill Kalina photo

The pantry's location alongside a busy local road caused safety and traffic concerns, said Kipp Allison, the zoning officer for Windsor Township.

People would often cross Cape Horn Road when stopping by — though Pilachowski said there haven't been any issues since the food pantry opened.

After facing the news that his operation would need to shut down, Pilachowski said, he began seeking alternative locations for his food pantry to continue serving people.

He received several offers from people willing to help and settled on the church since it met all of the criteria he needed for his food pantry.

Living Word Community Church, located at 2530 Cape Horn Road, has a large parking lot that will prevent traffic issues and is near the food pantry's previous spot, making it easy for users of the pantry to find.

Little Free Food Pantry volunteers Sandie Elsass, left, and Jill Parr work at the pantry on Cape Horn Road in Red Lion Monday, May 18, 2020. J & K Salvage donated a shipping container, background, to expand the formerly tented food pantry. Bill Kalina photo

Additionally, a surplus of church-goers could supply the food pantry with donations and volunteers, Pilachowski said.

"It was just kind of a perfect place to go," Pilachowski added. "To me it was a no-brainer."

The Red Lion Little Free Food Pantry will operate at its current location until July 3. 

Though no official opening date at the new location has been set, Pilachowski said it will reopen at Living Word Community Church in early July.

Anna Davis of Red Lion perused the food at the Little Free Food Pantry on Cape Horn Road in Red Lion Tuesday, April 21, 2020. The pantry, created by Jerry Pilachowski and situated in front of his home and business, has been providing food for the community for over three weeks. Bill Kalina photo

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.