NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Each week, over 40 volunteers work out of THRIVE Peninsula’s food pantry to pack grocery bags for families in need.
However, officials say the facility isn’t equipped with the necessary HVAC systems to deal with the summer heat.
“The food pantry is the largest space in the building and because it houses commercial freezers and fridges that generate a lot of heat so it can be very difficult to keep the space cool,” said Angela York, Executive Director of THRIVE Peninsula. “In fact, during the summer, the temperature can reach up to 80 degrees in the pantry. That’s not a great environment for our volunteers, who are already working hard.”
Warwick Mechanical Foundation volunteers, alongside Damuth Trane, are expected to install a new air system on Saturday morning to provide a cooler flow of air into the food pantry.
“We had enough space in our building to serve our clients until the pandemic hit. Then we received a surge of donations and requests for help, and we ran out of space almost overnight”. York said.
This new HVAC system wraps up a six-month renovation to the facility. A press release from THRIVE said that the renovations have all been done by volunteers and donations.
A new kitchenette was added as a “volunteer appreciation station” as part of a $5,000 grant from Ferguson and a donation from Pompei. First United Methodist Church Foundation in Newport News provided another $5,000 that was used to purchase a new triple door commercial refrigerator.