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The Portage Food Pantry will reopen in its new home Friday.

The first distribution from the new location will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 6225 Lute Road. The pantry will distribute food from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first, third and fourth Fridays and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month.

Residents must pre-qualify for services through the Portage Township Trustee's office.

For 30 years the pantry had operated from the former Garyton school on Central Avenue, but closed last month after they were notified by Portage Township Schools that they would have to vacate the building by Jan. 1.

The pantry serves 200 families and 580 individuals each month. 

The pantry had been the only tenant in the building since NEO's moved its adult education program, including New Vistas High School, to its new location on U.S. 6 more than a year ago. The adult education group had been paying for 86 percent of the operations of the building prior to its move, school district attorney Ken Elwood said then, a cost the school district had absorbed after NEO's move.

The district is contemplating the future of the building, including selling it or using it for other educational programs.

Pantry, city and township officials are working to find a permanent location for the pantry.

For more information, visit the pantry's web site at portage-food-pantry.org or it's Facebook page at facebook.com/Portage-Township-Food-Pantry-280379475779/

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.