It took a little time, but the Grace Thiel Community Center, which is also known as the Bear Lake Senior Center/ Community Center, food Pantry is now open to all. Jackie Price, the Montpelier Grace Thiel Community Center Director, had a small food pantry for some time. There were jackets, hats, clothes and coats available for the colder months and food was available and stored in a small cabinet. The idea was to offer food on a 24/7 basis to people in need. Those who were hungry would take food and when they became more on their feet they could replace the food that was taken.
She had always wished for a way to serve more people in need of food in a much larger way. She came up with the idea of using a lager structure and found a prefabricated building, an “Old Hickory brand shed, that is almost big enough to be a “tiny house”. Lacking all of the funding needed to make this acquisition complete, Jackie reached out to the community and posted the project on Facebook to generate the funding need to make this a dream a reality. Within a very short period of time donations from local businesses and residents began to pour in. Again the Montpelier Pioneer spirit of helping each other came through. The building was selected, purchased and finally delivered on May 14th. Soon after that date it was fully operational, performing it's function of; giving necessities to the needy and was being stocked and full entirely from donations.
Located in the parking lot to the East of the hospital and behind the Maverick convenience center, it is loaded with a variety of items for both children and adults. Donations are accepted and can be dropped off at any time, but it is requested that only items with a current expiration date are left. Any fresh milk or items requiring refrigeration may be given to a staff member, of the community center during normal business hours, to be placed inside the refrigerator.
The community center is well known for providing reasonable balanced meals for seniors in the area. Everyone at all ages is encouraged to come in for a good meal. You don't have to be a senior to dine here and if you don't like what is on the menu for the day, they have one of the best hamburgers in town available at a very low price. Fridays feature speakers, musicians and other entertainment and there is always a very friendly atmosphere.
Jackie, her board and staff would like to extend their gratitude to those who donated and contributed to this effort. The list of donors is so large, numbering over fifty, that it would not be practical to list them individually. A plaque is being made to be permanently placed inside recognize each and every one and will be on permanent display.