Kingsford, Mich. (WZMQ) – In Dickinson County, DICSA’s Denim Heart Thrift and Pantry held its grand re-opening of its 621 N. Hooper Street location in Kingsford.
“We are having our grand re-opening of the store today,” announced Angela Elliott-Johnson, the Program Manager of Denim Heart Thrift and Pantry. The center celebrated its grand re-opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held by dozens of representatives from the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce, and other local officials including the Kingsford City Manager, Michael Stelmaszek.
“We initially moved into the building and it was a small, small space. We got a wonderful grant to expand the store, so we were temporarily over at a different location, a pop-up store for a short time while we did the remodeling, and now we’re open, and much, much bigger,” Elliott-Johnson informed. The grant was from the USDA for a food pantry and remodel. The store previously had a couple of different locations including one on Stephenson Avenue in Iron Mountain, and right downtown Iron Mountain during the remodeling process.
“With the expansion of the store, the food pantry expanded considerably,” noted Elliott-Johnson. “We get a lot of our food from the ‘Feeding America’ program and it’s doing well. But today with our grand re-opening we are doing a raffle for the public and we are also going to be having a gourmet shaved Ice truck that should be outside. It’s the Ice Shack,” she added.
The store now has new fridges located in the actual store area, making it easy for people in need to access assistance. All they need to do is fill out a simple form with their name, the number of people in their household, and their address to see if they meet the eligibility requirements.
“People in need of assistance can come right to the store, or they can call us, but they can come right in. It’s a simple form. We just need their name, the number of people in their household, their address and if they meet the eligibility requirements, which unfortunately a lot of people in our community do,” informed the program manager. “And then they are more than welcome to help themselves to the food pantry,” said Elliott-Johnson.
The store is also expanding its hours of operation along with the grand re-opening, to include Mondays.
“We are now open on Mondays, it’s Monday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. It’s a shorter hour on Monday but then Tuesday, through Thursdays we’re open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m,” stated Elliott-Johnson. She added that there are additional community services available through the thrift and pantry, such as clothing vouchers for those in need of clothing for job interviews.
“Our prices are very minimal, to help out, but we do offer a $20 voucher for free shopping for people in need of clothing for a new job. We also have many free items outside the store everyday that anybody can help themselves to,” she explained.