Batavia to buy building to host charity food, clothing pantry

Batavia is buying a new home for the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet.

The city council will vote on Monday to buy a building at 910-916 First St. for $2 million.

The city had taken an option to buy a property on Webster Street in January. At first, it anticipated remodeling and enlarging the building. But in March, city staff reported the building was not suitable for a food pantry and that it likely would require building a new structure for the pantry.

The building along First Street needs less work and is in “pristine” condition, according to a city memo.

The charity used to be in a small city-owned building at at 100 Flinn St. The city allowed it use it rent-free. The Clothes Closet also used space offsite, including the former First Baptist Church, to store off-season clothing.

It moved to temporary quarters on Raddant Road last fall when the city tore down the Flinn building to make way for an expansion of the adjacent sewage treatment plant.

The city has received a $3 million federal grant to provide a building for the food pantry.

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The food pantry is a private organization that has helped residents of Batavia and Batavia Township since the early 1980s.

The new building will also be used to store toys collected all year for the Batavia ACCESS committee’s annual Christmastime toy giveaway. The toys have been stored in various spaces over the years, including vacant Walgreens and Sam’s Club stores.

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