Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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May 30, 2014

Samaritans benefit from donation — Pauls Valley has developed quite the habit for finding a way to fit a need when options seem to be running out.

This latest example will actually be a win for the two parties involved. The local Samaritans food pantry will have a chance to have some much needed space and the city will fill an empty building.

Food pantry volunteer Lou Hall got the official approval from council members Tuesday and was excited to get started.

“I want to say we’re thrilled to death,” said Hall. “We feel like it’s an answer to our prayers…it’s exciting for us, it really is.”

Much of the motivation for the Samaritans to get their own place came after they were faced with rejecting a grant for a large refrigerator/freezer.

They have worked out of the basement of First Presbyterian Church for years. They found that the location would not work for the installation of the new appliance.

They are also losing out on the opportunities of storing anything beyond dry goods. They have been turned down to receive refrigerated goods from the regional food bank and also leftovers from a local grocery store.

The building being offered is the former senior citizens center at the edge of Wacker Park.

“I approached Lou Hall about a month ago to see if they would be interested in taking over the NYE building,” said Frizell. “They believe it is a good project.”

The group will not be using the entire building but just the portion that usedto be the Delta Public Transit’s bus stop and office.

Most of the building is still in useable shape. A metal building addition attached to the main structure that will have to be torn down eventually.

“We’ve been looking over a year for a place. We’ve been in the basement of the Presbyterian church for 35 years,” said Hall. “This will be easier on my back and others who have to carry groceries up and down the stairs.”

“We just want something flat, where we can expand and get a freezer.”

Another Samaritans, Glenn Prater, didn’t think it would be a problem getting supplies to fix up the old building.

With the help of the city and other volunteers he sees a lot of possibility in tackling a tough clean-up project.

“It is in the need of a lot of TLC, but there’s enough volunteers for work and volunteers for money,” said Prater.

“It would be a super team effort for the city and other entities in this community.”

With the acquisition of the location, it may even open up doors for more funding through their status as a 501C3 charity.

A move-in date was not announced at the meeting. Cleaning and fixing up the building is expected to begin immediately.

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