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Manna Food Pantries Still Looking For New Location

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Manna Food Pantries’ search for a new location has hit a road block. 

Last October, the food bank thought it had found its new home. Manna purchased a 4 and a half acre property from the Escambia County School District near North Hayne and Tarragona streets in Pensacola. This week, however, they are back to square one. De De Flounlacker, the Executive Director of Manna Food Pantries said that after taking a few months to evaluate the property they "have determined that it's just not the nest fit for Manna in the long run."

Flounlacker said that  hearing the concerns of residents near the new location, and some other factors went into the decision. "Manna's always been a good community neighbor. We've been in the community for 32 years." She said listening to the concerns of the neighborhood surrounding the property was part of the reason they decided not to build there. "But we are pursuing the sale of the property and we are actively looking for another suitable location for us to move to."

Manna's always been a good community neighbor. - De De Flounlacker, Executive Director of Manna Food Pantries

Manna’s current Pensacola headquarters on Gonzalez Street was severely damaged during last April’s flood. It took months before they could begin full operations and are still running the office out of temporary construction trailers. De De Flounlacker says they are open to buying an existing structure and modifying it for the food pantry’s use…of purchasing land and constructing a new complex. They would like to be close to their current location so their clients’ routine wouldn’t be changed too drastically.

In the meantime the land that Manna purchased from the school district, which is the old location of the J Lee Pickens School, has been put back on the market. And wherever Mann’s new location finally ends up being, it will not be in a flood zone. Flounlacker also said Manna is planning a capital campaign for later in the year. 

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.