By SHERI GASSAWAY
Laborers’ Local 110 has made a generous $5,000 donation toward the expansion of the Arnold Food Pantry and Thrift Store.
Local 110 Business Manager Don Willey presented the check to the pantry at the Taste of Arnold event held July 30 at Immaculate Conception Parish Center in Arnold. He said the pantry has helped many union families make ends meet, especially during times of recession.
“Ninety percent of the people who work at the food pantry are volunteers,” Willey said. “It is run really well, and this expansion proves it. We try to help charities that help our members.”
News of the expansion was unveiled at the July 30 event. Phil Amato, vice chairman of the pantry’s board of directors, said the organization has purchased the lot directly next to its current location – a .63-acre parcel of land, which contains a garage.
"We’re going to use the garage for storage, and we’re going to repave the parking lot,” Amato said. “We’re in desperate need of additional parking spaces at the pantry.”
Amato, who is also a member of the Jefferson County Labor Club and a Ward 2 Arnold City Councilman, said members of local labor organizations have agreed to inspect the property and recommend upgrades.
LABOR UNIONS HELPED
BUILD THE NEW PANTRY
In 2012, the pantry moved to its new location at 2024 Key West Dr. in Arnold. Local labor unions and their contractors stepped up to the plate to renovate the building to the tune of $280,000 in cash, labor and materials. Pantry officials thank organized labor every time the renovation is mentioned.
The pantry has a framed Labor Tribune story highlighting labor’s contribution to the renovation project strategically hung in the building so that everyone who visits knows what labor did to make the pantry a reality. Plus, one of the pantry’s vans is decorated with the logo of every union that participated in the massive project.
See previous coverage:
- Arnold Food Pantry moving to a new location thanks to unions
- Labor’s contributions recognized at dedication of new Arnold Food Pantry
LABORERS’ LOCAL 110
INVOLVEMENT THROUGH THE YEARS
The $5,000 donation from Local 110 was not its first gift to the charity. The local gave $5,000 to the pantry last year at a trivia fundraiser. It also donated $5,000 in 2012 during the renovation of the new location and coordinated all the asphalt paving work outside the building.
TO THE PANTRY’S EXPANSION
In addition to Laborers’ Local 110 donation at the July 30 event, several others presented checks to the pantry for its expansion efforts including:
- $3,000 from Amato and his family;
- $3,000 from Fireworks City;
- $20,000 from the Arnold Jaycees License Fee Office.
The Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation also provided a $50,000 grant for the project.
ABOUT THE PANTRY
The Arnold Food Pantry is the largest non-denominational food distribution center in the St. Louis region that does not receive city, state or federal government funding. It supplies $900,000 in food donations to families in need each month.
The pantry feeds about 320 families a week – twice as many compared to when the new location opened in 2012. It serves residents in Arnold and portions of Imperial and Fenton.
For more information or to donate, visit wefeedthehungry.org or call 636-287-3663.