Dubuque Food Pantry purchasing new, nearby location

Dubuque Food Pantry is planning a move.

The pantry is in the process of purchasing the former Brannon Monument Co. building at 1310 White St., only blocks away from the pantry’s current location at 1598 Jackson St. The building was listed for sale in November.

“It’ll be double the space that we have right now,” said pantry Director Theresa Caldwell.

During the past year, the pantry has served an average of 500 families per month.

The bigger location will allow for the expansion of delivery services to seniors living in independent housing facilities, according to a press release. The program, launched in May, currently provides monthly deliveries to 150 seniors living in eight facilities.

The sale is set to close on Dec. 30, Caldwell said. The terms have not been disclosed. The property is valued at nearly $275,000 and is vacant following Brannon Monument’s recent relocation to 2100 Stonehill Dr., which formerly housed Key West True Value.

“It’s going to take a couple of months to get the building ready to move into,” Caldwell said.

An advantage of the new location is off-street parking options, she said.

“It will be a little more open and welcoming to people,” Caldwell said.

In addition to parking, the new location is along the Jule’s Windsor/Terrace Heights/Central green line, which runs on Saturdays, and is one block from the weekday Jackson/Broadway/Central green line.

The new building also is all one level, Caldwell said. At the current location, it can be difficult for volunteers to handle going up and down stairs with boxes of canned goods.

To celebrate the pantry’s future move, the Hodge company and Brannon Monument surprised the pantry with a donation of a forklift Tuesday morning while the pantry’s board of directors members were touring the facility.

“We think it’s wonderful a nonprofit will breathe new life into this building on White Street,” said Mike Brannon, owner of Brannon Monument.

Hodge officials also were pleased to make the donation.

“The Dubuque Food Pantry impacts so many people right here in Dubuque,” said Zach Hodge, executive vice president for material handling and logistics at Hodge, in a press release. “With the holidays right around the corner, we hope this donation makes a difference for their operation and the community members they serve.”

Caldwell said the forklift will allow the pantry to utilize the space better, allowing volunteers to reach taller storage units.

“We won’t have to have everything at eye level,” she said.

Similarly, the forklift will come in handy with big deliveries. In the past, the pantry has had to borrow forklifts for unloading some deliveries.

“We’ll be able to be more self-sufficient,” Caldwell said.