Little River pantry to distribute food on schedule Feb. 15

Church reports water damage of $100,000-plus
Feb 13, 2018

Belfast — Food pantry distribution will happen on schedule Feb. 15, 6 to 7:30 p.m., at Little River Church, despite water damage estimated to exceed $100,000.

Pantry manager Debra Edgerly said food will be distributed in a “drive-thru” operation. She asks that clients drive up to the church’s lower-level entrance at 259 Northport Ave. and remain in their cars to manage sign-ins, and boxes or bags of food will be brought out to them.

The church sustained extensive damage when, sometime between the mornings of Jan. 21 and 23, a faucet burst in a bathroom.

Pastor Jonathan Susee said volunteers from Little River and other area churches, as well as from the Maine Coast Regional Reentry Center, helped measurably in keeping demolition costs down, but restoration expense, plus the cost to bring in drying equipment, probably will exceed $100,000.

As work has proceeded, workers have found the water damage to be more extensive than originally thought, particularly in the sanctuary, where sub-flooring, as well as carpet, has to be replaced, and stains and cracks have appeared in the sheet rock. Restoration work has begun; the bathroom where the flooding began is now restored and functional again.

On the positive side, the pastor said, the disaster has created some new connections between Little River Church and community, including with churches, the Sheriff’s Department, businesses and others. The first Sunday after the flooding, Little River parishioners shared services with Calvary Chapel at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, and some other joint activities have occurred since.

Edgerly said the community has also been “very generous” with cash and food contributions after the food pantry lost about 75 percent of the food that was sorted and packed for monthly distribution this week.

Now worshiping again in their own sanctuary, albeit “on plywood” (replacement sub-flooring), Pastor Susee said, “It’s a real joy to be back with everyone together as a family, and the future is still bright — and we’ll be able to get the food pantry set up even better than it was.”

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