Local food pantry & soup kitchen renovates its space to make it - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local food pantry & soup kitchen renovates its space to make it more welcoming for guests

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

The Catholic Charities St. Elizabeth's Center on South Main Street knows it's now always easy to ask for help.  The center took it upon itself to make the building more warm and inviting for those who need it most. 

"The building on the outside might look the same, but on the inside it's totally different," center director Tammara Taylor.

The center added murals and fresh paint.  Some painting was done by volunteers, other rooms were completed with the help of guests. Instead of a traditional food pantry, guests are invited to come in and shop. People can even choose fresh produce. 

"Instead of it feeling like they're coming to get a handout so to speak they're coming in and are able to make a choice  of what they and what their family is going to enjoy," says Taylor.

The people who serve at the center say they take pride in their work. 

"I enjoy working for the organization because I think it's one of the leading advocates in Rockford for the residents that have issues and needs," says Kenyetta Benjamin

"Dealing with people has changed my life a lot," says Yasaida Ramirez. "I mean I love this place, everyone is wonderful, my coworkers are great. I'm glad to help." 

The staff says now that the center is more warm and inviting, it's have a parallel effect on its guests. 

"Instead of just coming in and  looking at the floor and not trying to be noticed, they come in and they're much more warm and inviting," says Taylor. 

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