A Farmington Hills nonprofit will transform its food pantry this summer, thanks to a 100 Hometowns grant from Lowe’s.
To celebrate its 100th birthday, the national retailer has funded 100 projects across the country. Lowe’s selected the CARES project from more than 2,200 nominees.
“We really wanted to focus all the dollars to remodel the free pantry,” CARES director Todd Lipa said. “Doug Busch and his team (from Busch’s Fresh Food Market) are laying it out so that it looks like a grocery store.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES pantry model had guests selecting their own food items. The shift started after a mom commented how much she disliked visiting the pantry with her children and having them know she needed help.
With help from Busch’s and other donors, CARES installed shelves and coolers. The experience even included a check-out lane.
That all changed last March, when CARES switched to a drive-up model with prepackaged boxes. Lipa said that will continue through November, when the remodeled pantry is expected to open.
CARES will use Lowe’s grant dollars to install ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant doors, give the area a fresh coat of paint and new flooring, and make other improvements.
Lipa said once the project is complete, CARES hopes to “have folks come in and be proud to shop for their food and have no worries about their kids, because they’re shopping in a grocery store.”
The list of projects Lowe’s funded includes just three food pantries. You can view a full list on the company’s website.