GLADSTONE — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Food Pantry in Gladstone recently underwent some changes.

After being closed for two weeks due to the construction of a reconfigured office and reception area for those in need, the pantry opened its new doors to the public Monday morning.

“What we really wanted to do is to fix it so the people that come in have more privacy when they come in for their needs,” said Mary Martin, manager of the Client Services Office at the Escanaba St. Vincent de Paul.

“Being a small town, everybody knows everybody, and this way they can feel if they’re coming here, they can have dignity to come here and see us,” said Gale St. Martin, President of the St. Vincent de Paul Society Conference of Gladstone.

In addition to allowing more discretion for those who arrive seeking help, the remodeled office area will allow the Treasurer to work in–house. From planning to implementation, making the changes was quite a task.

“My husband has a nice big drafting board, and so I took it upon myself to draw the office and draw what I thought we should have, and we did the plans and we presented them to our council and they approved it, and so we got the carpenters in and we did the work,” Martin added.

“We made one room into two, so we had to build walls, electricity, carpeting, put in doors, take out doors, put in different doors, take out windows. It was a lot of work,” said St. Martin.

A blessing ceremony was held for pantry shortly before it opened Monday.

There are still a few more pieces that need to be put into place before the work is complete.

“We still need a door,” St. Martin added. “That had to be specially ordered. We’re going to be painting the waiting room, and we do want to paint the pantry.”

If you’re in the area and looking for assistance with food or other needs, you can stop by the St. Vincent de Paul office on Delta Avenue or call them at (906) 428–9690.