2011-02-11 / Top Stories

Collapsed Roof Temporarily Halts Church Food Pantry

By Miriam Rosenberg


Dorothy Madison, the coordinator for the food pantry, (r), with area residents stand outside the First Baptist Church during last Thursday’s food distribution. Dorothy Madison, the coordinator for the food pantry, (r), with area residents stand outside the First Baptist Church during last Thursday’s food distribution. Because of a collapsed roof on the building that houses its food pantry, the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Redfern said food distribution will temporarily be halted while a new location is sought.

As reported in last week’s issue, heavy ice and snow caused a partial roof collapse at 20-50 Nameoke Street where the church normally holds its weekly food panty. The Reverend Duane Sleet told The Wave last week that he had no idea how soon it would be before they are allowed back in the building.

On the day of the roof collapse, Sleet told NY 1, “I am sure that once we find out [more] we will have to re-locate. And it will cause great hardship in the Far Rockaway community that we serve.” On Monday Sleet confirmed the need to re-locate.

“As soon as we get somewhere to go we will [restart],” said Sleet.

Last Thursday food distribution was moved outdoors to the entrance of the First Baptist Church, located at 15-10 Redfern Avenue, across the street from the damaged building because, Sleet said, he didn’t want the “newest food order to spoil.” The pantry reportedly serves 200 families on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“The food continues to come [automatically] each week,” said Sleet.

This week the church will be serving hot meals only on Tuesday and Thursday, at the Redfern Avenue location, in place of the pantry.

On the scene of last week’s collapse, FDNY Battalion Chief Gary Rocco said the partial collapse, “makes the rest of the building unstable.”

A gas leak was also reported at the time of the collapse.

City inspectors issued a full vacate last Wednesday and city inspectors and the building’s insurance adjustor were on the premises the next day.

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