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INDIANAPOLIS — A food pantry on the city’s north side is officially reopened for business.

The Saint Vincent de Paul Boulevard Place Food Pantry was closed prior to the pandemic as officials worked on repairs and expansion to fit the needs of the community.

Before the start of the pandemic, pantry representatives say conditions were becoming too cramped for shoppers, with long wait times outside. The building was also in need of repair.

“It was a struggle for storage and a struggle for waiting room space for the pantry clients and we really needed to expand to make it more convenient for the volunteers and the clients, but mainly for the clients because of the waiting room and storage area,” said Mark Varnau, the pantry’s director emeritus.

The pantry was expanded by about 1,500 feet and added many new amenities to serve the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. In 2020, the pantry served an average of over 900 households per month. For six months during the crux of the pandemic we served over 1,100 households.

“You persevered throughout a year of trials to bring and to continue bringing this oasis to a food desert,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.

The pantry serves around 1,000 clients a month.