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North Lawrence food pantry finds a new home

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JOHNSON NEWSPAPERS

NORTH LAWRENCE — After years of providing underprivileged St. Lawrence families with help, a local food bank needed of a little assistance of its own.

When the Abundant Life Fellowship Church on Route 11C closed on Easter Sunday, it also closed the doors of Tri-Town Community Food Service, which called the church’s basement home for more than eight years.

Suddenly, the group, which provides more than 60 families in the towns of Lawrence, Stockholm and Brasher with nine meals every month, was left on its own and without many options.

“We kind of went into panic mode,” Director Ida May TenEyck said. “All of a sudden, we had to find a place and find it quick.”

Mrs. TenEyck took to the phones, but she was unable to find a home for the volunteer pantry.

Everyone admired her cause, she said, but no one could provide a building large enough to house the food. And with many handicapped customers, the pantry’s options were limited.

“I called everyone and their brother in all the towns, and no one could find a place for us,” Mrs. TenEyck said.

At the same time, Carrie M. Seguin, owner of Cuts and A Bit More Beauty Salon, was looking for someone to fill a vacancy in the back of her newly opened business.

Ms. Seguin, who in February had bought the former Alamo Grill at 1979 Route 11C, volunteered to rent the rear of the building to Tri-Town Community Food Service.

“God puts you where he wants you to be,” Mrs. TenEyck said. “Sometimes things just fall into place.”

The food bank moved at the beginning of the month, trading Ms. Seguin’s hair spray and nail polish for boxes of macaroni and cans of beans. Tri-Town has signed a lease with the salon’s owner, ensuring it will remain open to needy patrons for at least another year.

“It was a blessing from heaven,” Mrs. TenEyck said. “I don’t know what we would have done without them.”

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