MIDLOTHIAN — Two weeks ago, the Midlothian Senior Citizen's Food Pantry was standing room only. It's been providing free food for 440 families every week.
On Wednesday, the pantry wasn't just bare... it was closed.
After three years in a non-school building owned by the Midlothian Independent School District, the pantry was evicted.
Last month, MISD sent pantry founder Vicki Massey a letter saying she would need a $1 million insurance policy, a completed application for use of MISD facilities, and proper documentation as a non-profit organization with federal and state authorities.
Although the pantry had non-profit status with both the IRS and the state at one time, that status was revoked because the organization failed to file proper forms with the appropriate agencies.
Massey said the paperwork problem stemmed from a disagreement with her accountant. She said the pantry re-filed documents with the IRS, but those documents were not processed in time to regain her non-profit status.
On Wednesday, friends of the pantry — of which there are many — were busy removing food, freezers and equipment from three small rooms the food bank occupied to temporary storage. They had help from Midlothian ISD engineers.
"The school district has been extra good to me, and I know that, and I love them all... and I have always said that," Massey said.
Even if she could have met the district's paperwork and insurance requirements, the district told Massey it wanted $41,000 a year in rent, something it had before requested. She couldn't have raised that money.
Now the pantry is looking for a new site to set up shop... and a temporary place for her food and equipment.