The change is pretty clear for shoppers who visit the new thrift store building of the Webster County Pantry and Thrift Store on 51 Ferguson Drive, Marshfield.

"There's heating now," said one shopper, who came to the store on Friday. "That's just wonderful. It also has brighter lighting here than in the other building. I've been shopping at the thrift store here for a long time and I’m happy there’s a new facility."

The thrift store has been open since October, but there is still a few minor things to finish inside it, according to Jerry Nehl, who manages the food pantry portion.

"The main building is fully functional," he said. "We still got to put a front porch step for the door, take care of the guttering and get the bathroom and office up, but other than that it’s open for business."

Betty Funk, Diana Compton and Annie Nehl maintain the thrift store and organize the donations.

"You should have seen the old place," said Compton, who has been working at the thrift store for 11 years. "There were so many air holes that you would freeze in that building. It wasn’t as easy to organize. We also didn't have heating, so it made it challenging in the winter. In the summer, we didn't have any air conditioning, so we had fans running throughout the store."

The former building is used to store donated items, but Compton said they’re going to make it into a furniture section for shoppers once they get it cleaned out.

"We don't have enough room in the new building to keep furniture, so we're going to end up getting the old one all sorted out because we still have stock in it," she said. "Then we’ll make it into a furniture store. I think that’s a great way to utilize it."

Annie Nehl said they’re still in the process of transferring items from the old building to the new one, which has been a challenge with more donations coming in.

"Ever since the building was here, donations have been brought in, so we haven't caught up from the donations that were brought over in order to empty the old one yet, so we're working on that," said Nehl. "We usually work on the weekdays to sort out donations or restock items from the old building to the new one when we run out."

The Webster County Food Pantry and Thrift Store operates on donations from the community and assistance from the volunteers. Funds from the thrift store go directly back to the pantry to help purchase food and other items.

"I've been a volunteer at the pantry for seven months," said Cristina Kandlbinder. "My kids and I even helped paint the walls inside the new thrift store. I think it’s important to get involved in the community."

Donations can be made to the Webster County Thrift Store, P.O. 684, Marshfield, MO, 65706.

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