Praise Assembly of God Church Pastor Justin Thacker is in the church’s library with his daughter Hannah, who loves children’s books. The church is bringing back its food pantry and is also offering a clothing closet and use of a library to the public. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

RUMFORD — After a 10-month hiatus, the Praise Assembly of God Church is bringing back its food pantry.

Pastor Justin Thacker of the 89 Congress St. church said the food pantry will open Tuesday, Jan. 9. Hours to start will be 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Thursday. “Anyone can come in, once a month,” Thacker said.

“We’ve had a lot of requests (to bring back the pantry),” he said. “I’m grateful to open it back up. I miss seeing the people, and the chance to make a difference.” 

Along with an uptick in donations, Thacker said, the church decided to focus less on electrical and rent assistance, “and more to buy food to help more families.”

The church received a donation that provided for much-needed new shelving for the food pantry.

Thacker said the food pantry is upstairs, along with two other public services: the clothing closet and the library.

“We’re hoping this will be convenient for folks in need,” Thacker said. “If anyone is unable to do stairs, we’ll be glad to meet with you downstairs with clothing, food, books, counsel or simply to say hello.”

Thacker said the clothing closet can be used by families up to two times a year, depending on donations. The library features a lot of children’s books and three computers with filtered internet.

People are welcome to visit daily from 9 a.m. to noon for free coffee and a session called “Chatting with PJ (Pastor Justin).” Thacker said he has set aside time on his calendar for this opportunity.

Donations can be made to Praise Assembly of God, P.O. Box 269, Rumford, ME 04276. People can also bring donations by the church during office hours.

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