Four months after starting a campaign to raise $1 million, the Geneseo Food Pantry has met that goal.

Four months after starting a campaign to raise $1 million, the Geneseo Food Pantry has met that goal.

A $100,000 donation from John and Carla Edwards pushed the food pantry’s building fund over the top.

“I don’t have the words to explain how humbling this is. The community has seen our need and has embraced it. We’re just so grateful,” said food pantry director Jolynn Kitterman.

The Geneseo Ministerial Association, which oversees the food pantry, purchased property including a former convenience store at 550 Dilenbeck Drive.

The land is just shy of an acre and features a brick structure, built in 1986.

The plan is to add a 6,850 square foot addition to the existing convenience store structure.

Construction crews will break ground the project in April. It will take approximately six months to complete the renovation and addition.

“We thought this was a very worthwhile project for our area,” said John Edwards.

He and Carla said they were both impressed with how quickly the food pantry was able to raise $1 million, especially since the fundraising campaign followed other major community building campaigns including a new Geneseo library; new humane society animal shelter; church renovations and additions, including at First Baptist, First Methodist and St. Malachys; extensive technical upgrades to Richmond Hill Barn Theatre; and, most recently, a new park district aquatic center.

John and Carla Edwards have themselves given funds for other community projects. In 2013, they made a donation to help kickstart the humane society’s building fund. More recently, they donated to the park district’s pool campaign. The John and Carla Edwards Aquatic Center bears their name.

Kitterman said she and members of the food pantry’s building committee always believed the $1 million goal was obtainable. “We just thought it would take a lot longer time to reach.”

The proposed new food pantry will be a one-level structure.

“Not having to carry donations up and down stairs will be a blessing for our volunteers,” said Kitterman.

The new facility will include more space to sort donations as well as a washer and dryer.

“The closer we got to reaching our fundraising goal, the smaller our current building started to feel,” said Kitterman. “This will be a huge change for us, and it’s so exciting.”