New space for thrift shop, food pantry is a win for Lake Placid

When Lake Placid’s Helping Hands Thrift Shop closed its doors on George and Bliss Lane in November after 31 years of service to the community, we worried that it may never reopen. The news this week that not only will it be reopening, but at a brand-new joint location with the Ecumenical Food Pantry, was a great relief.

The thrift store played a crucial role in Lake Placid, where the cost of living is high and, for the average resident, any dollars saved on homegoods or clothing is welcome. The Lake Placid Ecumenical Food Pantry, too, provides a necessary service. In 2023 alone, it distributed 34,506 pounds of food at no cost, amounting to roughly 28,755 meals. The food pantry, which is currently located in the basement of St. Agnes Church, has also long had some accessibility issues.

“We’ve been struggling for years, trying to find easier access (to the pantry from the street) but it’s an exceptionally old building and impossible to cut through walls or make access easier. So, the real solution is this new facility,” St. Agnes Rev. John Yonkovig told Staff Writer Sydney Emerson for a story this week.

We were all the more excited, then, that a new 3,000-square-foot building is expected to go up next to the Shipman Youth Center, where the Lake Placid Central School District’s basketball courts are currently located. (New basketball courts will be installed in a different location.)

The new building is going to house the food pantry on one side and the thrift shop on the other, with a basement space for community meetings and a garage area to store secondhand furniture for the thrift shop, Emerson wrote this week.

Fundraising for the project — the total cost of which is estimated around $850,000 — is ongoing.

This was an excellent example of public and private organizations coming together for the greater good of the community. Multiple governments, organizations and a school district are involved, including the town of North Elba, the village of Lake Placid, LPCSD, the Homestead Development Corporation and the Ecumenical Council.

There’s still fundraising and planning left to do, but if everything comes to fruition, this is a welcome win for the residents of Lake Placid.


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