Food bank says it’s “here to stay”

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The Narberth Food Bank, which was served a cease-and-desist order by state officials and is facing rent woes in its borough-owned building, is remedying its paperwork and plans to stay open, its board said in a community letter.


“You can rest assured that the Narberth Community Food Bank is here to stay to serve this community,” the board members wrote in the Saturday letter.

The food bank was ordered to stop soliciting contributions because it is not registered with the state as a charitable organization, according to a cease-and-desist order filed in March.


Separately, Narberth Borough, which leases space to the food bank, served the bank with a notice of default in early April, giving it 30 days to pay back-rent, borough officials said Friday.





In their letter, board members alleged that the rented space has been “fraught with problems” and that the food bank has been working with the borough for more than a year to make repairs.

“Despite these problems, we continued to collect food donations, manage a staff of hardworking volunteers, raise the funds necessary to keep the Food Bank open and operating,” the board said.

The borough said it had offered an amendment to the lease agreement that included repairs, but that it had not been signed. The borough is “not looking to try to force them out” but to reach an agreement that works for both parties, said solicitor John Walko, citing the community service the food bank provides.

It was founded in 2009, and The Inquirer reported in 2011 that it was in the process of filing paperwork to become a nonprofit. It was registered as a nonprofit corporation but never registered as a charitable organization, said Wanda Murren, a spokeswoman for the Department of State.




In order to sanction an organization, the state must receive a complaint or become aware of a potential problem with an organization through some other means, such as criminal charges, media reports, or law enforcement referral, Murren said Monday.

The food bank said it is getting its paperwork with the state in order and asked for patience from the community.

“We are here to assist anyone and everyone that needs help in these trying times,” the board wrote.






















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