The Downey Thrift Shop, which handed out food and clothing to the poor for nearly 30 years before closing its doors in December, is scheduled to reopen later this month as a food collection and distribution center for the needy.
Renamed the Downey Council Parent-Teacher Assn. H.E.L.P. because it will no longer sell secondhand clothing to raise funds, the shop will be run out of a 342-square-foot suite in the city's Apollo Neighborhood Service Center, said Theresa Robarge, spokesman for the city Housing Division.
The city will charge Downey Council PTA $154 a month for the shop space. The Downey Council PTA represents PTAs in the Downey Unified School District and will sponsor the food bank as it did the thrift shop. The food bank is scheduled to be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays beginning April 20.
The Downey Thrift Shop, which was located on Lakewood Boulevard, closed after it lost its lease and could not find an affordable location. Founded in 1957, the shop used the money earned from the sale of secondhand clothes to buy food for the poor. The proceeds also paid for activities such as health testing at local schools. The shop also received donations of non-perishable food items for distribution.