A fire Saturday, March 12, in the Sister Mary Regis Food Cupboard at 316 Bay St., Rochester, caused extensive damage and destroyed the ministry’s supply of food.
The ministry is run by St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish and is located in the former Holy Redeemer/St. Francis Xavier church hall.
Sister Julia Norton, the ministry’s director, said the damage fortunately was contained to the area of the church hall in which the cupboard is located, and the fire did not spread to the clothing ministry Matthew’s Closet or the child-care center that also are located in the building.
"It didn’t affect the ceiling, but given 15 more minutes it could have," Sister Norton said.
She said two people going into Matthew’s Closet smelled smoke and reported the fire, whose cause is unknown.
Volunteers are working to remove damaged items, and Sister Norton said the ministry’s rooms in the building will have to be scrubbed and new windows installed before food supplies can be replaced.
The cupboard plans to reopen April 4 and will need to be restocked with food at that time.
According to a December 2010 article in El Mensajero Católico about the food cupboard, the ministry serves about 700 families a year.
To offer assistance, contact the parish at 585-287-5161.