PALERMO — For a local community center and food pantry on Turner Ridge Road, a pilot program with Habitat for Humanity continues to expand the center’s potential.

That’s because Habitat volunteers have begun working on a new ramp for the pantry, which will make the building accessible to people with disabilities who need wheelchairs or other such devices. On a brisk Sunday morning, a handful of workers were continuing woodwork and expanding a deck area to replace a ramp that had been falling apart.

Phil White Hawk, the chief financial officer of the nonprofit Palermo Community Center run by the Living Communities Foundation, said Habitat volunteers were providing all the labor, while the foundation was picking up the cost for materials. Not only will the new ramp make the pantry compliant under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but it will also make it easier for families with children in strollers to come use the pantry.

“It’s a great addition to our pantry,” he said.

White Hawk and his wife, the foundation’s president, Connie Bellet, have been involved with the foundation for a number of years. The foundation sponsors the food pantry, and runs a nearby community garden which provides produce to the pantry in warmer months.

“This has been a lot of work to get this far,” White Hawk said.

Sam Cantlin, volunteer carpenter from Consider It Carpentry, said Sunday they were working at reinforcing the deck. On Saturday, he said, volunteers had been digging in order to pour cement, which he said was “chilly,” considering it had been one of the coldest days so far.

“We’re busy, everybody is busy,” he said.

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