Foodbank and Thrift Store will continue to operate in St. Marys
By Pat Payton
The Salvation Army church, house and land, at 220 Queen Street East in St. Marys, are up for sale.
When contacted by the Independent early last week, Stratford Salvation Army Captain Mike Mailman said he did not know the asking price. However, it is believed to be $775,000.
“That decision (to sell the two buildings and land) was made before we came to Stratford last November,” Mailman said. He says the foodbank (in the church basement) and the Family Thrift Store on Water Street will continue to operate in the Stonetown.
“We don’t want to scare the community into thinking that we’re going to disappear all of a sudden; that’s not the plan,” the Captain told the newspaper. “We are planning to continue services; we’re just not sure what that’s going to look like yet.
“When the buildings are sold, we don’t have a location (for the foodbank) as of yet. We’re still looking at contingency plans on that. We are looking for another location for the foodbank, but I’m hoping and praying that whoever buys the buildings will let us stay there for a while.
“We’re faced with a couple of challenges, but we’re optimistic that we’ll overcome them.”
This past July, the St. Marys Sally Ann officially came under the umbrella of the Stratford Salvation Army, which oversees the Mitchell operation as well.
Since July, Mailman and his wife Melissa have been running the St. Marys foodbank. The couple comes over to the Stonetown twice a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays) to help people with food requests. It’s done by appointment only (519-284-2760).
Church services, meanwhile, haven’t been held in St. Marys for well over a year, Captain Mailman said.
Due to Covid-19 health reasons, Sunday church services at the Stratford Salvation Army were cancelled for several months earlier this year. The services resumed again on Oct. 4. People wishing to attend services have to pre-register by the Thursday of each week.
Note: St. James Anglican Church members recently conducted a food drive and Captain Mailman and his wife are thrilled with their donation to the St. Marys foodbank.