By Alyssa Schnugg
Oxford’s emergency food bank, The Pantry, has served Oxford and Lafayette County residents for 20 years by providing food to low-income families and elderly living on a fixed income.
It will continue to do so for another 10 years in its current location since the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved renewing The Pantry’s lease Thursday until 2031.
The Pantry serves people from the double-wide trailer located next to the Oxford Police Department off Molly Barr Road.
In 2001, the city first donated the lease of the land to The Pantry at no cost. The Pantry is responsible for all maintenance and repairs on the property and is required to maintain general liability insurance on the property.
About a year ago, The Pantry’s board of directors asked the city to renew its lease so plans could made to repair the current building and expand storage and replace floors to support the weight of commercial freezers.
However, the city was considering whether to expand the Oxford Police Department which is growing out of its current location or build a new OPD somewhere else. The city eventually purchased the old Hayakawa building on Industrial Park Drive and will renovate it for a new, future police department, leaving the city able to re-lease the property for another 10 years at no cost.
“They didn’t want to commit to doing renovations and repairs without knowing they would be remaining there,” said Mayor Robyn Tannehill Thursday during a budget hearing meeting.
The Board can consider extending the lease in 2031.