OCEAN CITY, Md.- A blue tarp drapes in front of what used to be Shepherd's Crook. Flames tore through the rectory in November, forcing the group out on the street; bouncing from place to place in Ocean City. Bob McCormick's next meal was in limbo.
"After the fire, I went home, opened up my pantry and all the can-goods that are in there, came from Shepherd's Crook," said McCormick, of Ocean City. He's one of many who depend on this food pantry in the resort town. Derrick Percifull, also, had to stand out in the bitter cold to get a bowl of hot soup.
"They did a lot, they did a lot," said Percifull, also of Ocean City, while shaking his head in approval. "It's just a shame it had to happen. But we're getting back and they can't stop it."
Shepherd's Crook has been in Ocean City since 2000, according to the church website. But the group hopped from 3rd Street to Connor's on the Ocean City Boardwalk and possibly to the old Ocean City Health Center on Caroline Street.
That's good news for Brenda Dingwall, of Snow Hill. She lost her husband, Late Reverend David Dingwall, in the fire. She remains a devoted volunteer at the pantry.
"It really is a sense of relief," said Dingwall. "We are excited that they are not going to be working out of our cars, like we were the first couple of weeks after the fire."
Church officials said if all goes well the food pantry will move into the county-owned building. But officials said there's still no telling how much it's going to cost to repair the old building. As for now, Saint Paul's by the Sea has received about $25,000 in donations, according to the church.
Worcester County commissioners and the County Health Department have to formally approve the deal in Ocean City.