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Local Banks Help Food Pantry With New Parking Lot

Downtown Food Pantry has long been in dire need of paving its parking lot. Now three Paris banks have made donations to help make it happen in May. First Federal Community Bank and its Foundation made a significant contribution along with Liberty National Bank and Peoples Bank. “We have long needed a safer and more respectable place for our clients and volunteers to park, but the cost has been prohibitive,” said executive director Allan Hubbard. “Our board got the ball rolling last year, and now with these banks’ help, it’s going to come true.”

After Hayter Engineering drew the professional plans required for the City of Paris permit, they approved. The food pantry board chose contractor Dylan Stephens of DCS Concrete to pour 40,000 square feet of concrete. As a result, it will remedy the deep potholes and other challenges of the current mixed-material parking lot on the pantry’s east side.

“We appreciate these banks helping us see this come to fruition,” board president Mike Viehe said. “But at the end of the day, it’s not just a parking lot. The banks plus other private donors are directly helping the community and those in need. That goes a long way.”

Beginning the week of May 9 and continuing while construction takes place, the food pantry will temporarily give out 25-pound food boxes to each household at the Lamar County Fairgrounds coliseum.

“We will not give out any food at our normal location at 124 W. Cherry St. while paving the parking lot. So all clients will need to go to the fairgrounds on our normal days and times: Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm and Thursdays 8:30-11:30 am,” Hubbard said.

For more information, contact Hubbard at 903-737-8870 or allan@downtownfoodpantry.org.