The fire at St. Paul’s By-The-Sea last month was devastating on many levels. As a small community, when tragedy strikes, it affects us all. Fortunately, our small resort community excels at banding together in times of need. Such was the case last week, as the Shepard Crook food pantry found a temporary location to operate out of so that those in need would still have a place to find food and comfort during the cold winter months.

The Shepard’s Crook food pantry, which suffered significant damages during the fire at the church in November, will now be operating out of Conner’s Beach Café on the Boardwalk, less than a block away from its original location. For the past few weeks, the food pantry had been operating out of a mini-van.

Conner’s Beach Café is typically closed for the season until mid-February. Owners Kevin and Jackie Ball graciously offered the space to be used for the food pantry. Ball is a regular volunteer at the food pantry. While the food pantry is important all year long, the cold months are particularly an important time to offer warm meals and clothing to our communities’ individuals and families in need.