AVIS — In a celebration event on Oct. 17, The New Love Center launched a $2.5 million capital campaign for an 18,000 square foot warehousing building that will soon be constructed along Woodward Avenue in Avis, between Pine Creek Veterinary and European Imports.
The land for the new building was purchased in September of last year and the plans for the building are still in the early stages of developing according to Dave Winkleman, board vice president.
He added that the Center has received about $1 million in commitments from various different sources and partnerships, $100,000 of that awarded from the Central PA Food Bank, but have also applied for state tax credits and other grants to help fund this project.
“We are pursuing every avenue we can,” he said.
Representative Stephanie Borowicz, R-76 McElhattan, has also been involved in this project and is working with the Center to retrieve funding.
There is no definite answer as to when the project will break ground, though Winkleman’s personal goal is anywhere between the next 12 to 16 months with the opening goal to be within the next two to three years.
He added that the goal for the large warehouse building is to bring the cafe, backpack program, warehousing of products, distribution, administration offices and pantry, all under one roof–eventually closing its other locations including: the Trinity United Methodist Church and the food pantry on Broad Street in Jersey Shore.
“We want to make sure a majority of the building is used for clients and warehousing,” he said.
“This is something our community needs,” he added.
Alice Fox Cline, board president, added that the Center is also working with River Valley Transit, which travels through the area with their busses, to see if the bus stop in that area can be moved closer to the new building.
“People are very generous,” she said. “The Lord has moved in ways we cannot even imagine. We just have to remember that the Lord has plans, He has taken care of us.”
For those who don’t already know, The New Love Center started their journey about six years ago in Jersey Shore when it was closed and reopened by those who were a part of it and wanted to make sure the mission lived on.
Fox Cline said that when it was reopened, it started out of the Central PA Food Bank helping them provide for community members.
Today, they have serviced Jersey Shore, Renovo and Lock Haven with their various programs including their school district backpack program, pop-up pantries, box program for seniors, two distribution centers at local churches, a cafe and the new building on Henry Street in Avis which is a stepping stone until the other building is finished.