The Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale has purchased the old schoolhouse located at 22 Kersey Road in Peace Dale. The building will house the Center’s food pantry, social services department, administrative offices, and provide a community space for workshops, gatherings, and wellness initiatives.
The Center’s executive director, Kate Brewster, explains the reasons for the purchase.
“Our current facilities are inadequate and inaccessible, and do not meet the needs of our visitors. Over the past several years we have taken a more holistic approach to fighting hunger through an expansion of services, which has resulted in the need for additional space. The current layout of our facilities, in which the food pantry is separate from the social service staff, can also be confusing and disconnected,” said Brewster.
“The new space will provide our visitors with an enhanced, dignified experience. The “Jonnycake Market” will recreate a true grocery store experience. Social service staff will be co-located with the Market, allowing for regular interactions and timely assistance with visitors, including those with disabilities who currently cannot climb our stairs. Cooking classes, wellness initiatives, community meetings, and tax assistance will be provided in an appropriate setting, and we will offer our partners much needed space for other needs that may arise in our community,” said Brewster.
The organization will launch a capital campaign this fall to finance the project. “We are excited to return this magnificent building, rich in history, back to the community. Most importantly, we are fortunate to be in a community that is extremely generous and believes in a shared responsibility for ensuring that everyone can meet their basic needs.”
The Center also announced that over the next year it will transition to a new name – the Jonnycake Center for Hope.