Master’s Manna provides food, clothing, medical attention and other services to more than 3,000 people in the area. The organization has a five-year lease ending in 2020 for an 11,600-square-foot space at 46 North Plains Industrial Road.
Founder and CEO Cheryl Trzcinski said she was notified six weeks ago that the property had been listed for sale.
“It’s not the first time the building has been up for sale, but I believe the landlord will look at any serious offer,” Trzcinski said.
Property owner Leonard Rossicone said he will be taking a huge financial hit if he does not sell the building by 2018, when his tax credit expires.
The property at 46-48 North Plains Industrial Road contains the food pantry and a second building with several retailers. Rossicone said he has listed the property for $1.15 million.
He said the decision to sell was “strictly a dollar and cents item,” and has nothing to do with the food pantry.
“I have an excellent relationship with them,” Rossicone said. “They are super good people.”
Trzcinski praised Rossicone for his generosity, saying the pantry is currently four months behind on its $6,700 rent.
“I can’t tell you how gracious Lenny is,” Trzcisnki said. “He is phenomenal.”
Trzcinski said if a new owner were to purchase the building, they may be able to legally sever the pantry’s lease because of the late rent. The outcome would be devastating for the people the organization services.
“It means no food on a weekly basis, no medical care on a weekly basis, no clothing, no showers and laundry facilities, no access to vocational and education training for the six schools we are written into their curriculum,” Trzcinski said.
To avoid that scenario, the organization is asking the community to pitch in the money needed to purchase the property. Trzcinski said they will be attempting to sell 11,600 “bricks” for every square foot of the space for $200 each, which would raise $1.4 million. The money left over from purchasing the property would go toward sustaining operations.
“We need the communities that we serve to step up and help us procure this property so we can continue to serve those that we serve,” Trzcinski said.
Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said he hopes the food pantry is able to continue its mission.
“Obviously, Master’s Manna is a very important service to the community and many people depend upon the services provided there,” Dickinson said. “I would certainly hope that there can be a resolution to the issue that will allow them to continue to provide services.”
Donations may be sent to Master’s Manna at 46 North Plains Industrial Road or may be made via PayPal at mastersmanna.org