The Zachary Men's Club donated a parcel of land 265 feet by 65 feet to accomodate the new, larger building, said Frank Pelichet, Zachary Men's Club.
Mayor David Amrhein said the new building will cost about $303,000. "The bid came in $54,000 lower than expected," Amrhein said.
Amrhein recently signed a contract with GM Builders of Baton Rouge to build the new community food bank located at 5376 Rollins, which is next door to the Zachary Men's Club.
“The present Zachary Community Food Pantry operates in a building that is small and inaccessible in many ways. The new facility will be approximately 3,000 square feet and will offer a waiting area and three offices for food pantry volunteers to better serve families in our area,” said Amrhein.
The plan is to have the new site open by Thanksgiving, but it could take longer, Amrhein said at a previous council meeting, where the City Councilmen voted to accept the low bid for construction.
The Zachary Rotary Club has also offered to pay for landscaping for the front of the new Zachary Food Pantry.
Attendees of the groundbreaking included food bank volunteers, men's club members and city leaders.
"This is a great day for us," said Amrhein at the groundbreaking ceremony. "We appreciate you, the food pantry volunteers, for what you do - it's what sets Zachary apart from other communites."
Amrhein thanked numerous people for their efforts in making the new pantry possible. "You understand what Zachary's about," he said to members of the Zachary Men's Club - David Horton, Jesse Spears, Bobby Snowden, Frank Pelichet and Allen Scott - who grow vegetables in their community garden and donate to the food bank during fall and winter months.
City workers, Dept. of Public Works employees and the city's chief engineering firm, PEC, will be performing all the sewer and water work, the mayor added.
"We jumped through a lot of hoops to get the funding for this," said Amrhein. "Many people worked really hard to make this happen, but again, the strength of community that is found in the hearts and minds of the people sets us apart."
Numerous not-for-profits, faith-based groups, community leaders and committed citizens are engaged in activities that make Zachary and its residents better.
A few of these activities include:
• Community food garden and food pantry
• Zachary Community Helpers
• A Day of Caring
• Health and Wellness fairs
• Thanksgiving Unity Day Dinner
• Main Street Clean Sweep
• Mayor's Prayer Breakfast