(Posted May 4, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
For nearly 45 years, Food Thru Faith has provided nourishment for families in need in London. On May 19, the volunteer-run food pantry will close its doors.
The building the organization leases at 51 W. Center St. has been sold. The new owners have other plans for the space. Nancy Penix, co-manager of the food pantry, said the pantry would have continued to operate if it could have stayed at that address. Organizers do not have plans to find another location. Penix also noted that many of the volunteers are getting older.
Food Thru Faith got its start in the late 1970s when ministers from several area churches saw a need in the community. Originally, individuals and families could visit the pantry once a month to pick up food. That later changed to twice a month with the pantry supplying each family with enough food for three breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners at each visit. The pantry serves the 43140 zip code.
“We’ve always felt good about helping people,” Penix said.
Traffic at the pantry slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the pantry would help as many as 10 families each day it was open.
Penix said the pantry board appreciates the support they have received from the community over the decades. Donations of food and money have helped to stock the shelves and purchase additional food from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. For years, London Elementary School students have held a food drive in November to help the pantry stock up for the holidays. The last several years, the drive was dedicated to the memory of former school principal Carol Daniels.
The churches affiliated with the pantry–St. John’s Lutheran Church, First Baptist Church of London, and Church of God–have covered the cost of rent and utilities. Volunteers from the churches have faithfully helped to stock shelves, manage inventory, and distributed food to patrons.
“They’ve all been great about helping,” Penix said.
Families and individuals who need food can continue to come by the pantry on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 and 11 a.m. through closing day on May 19.
In addition to Penix, the Food Thru Faith board includes John Decker, president, and Karen King, treasurer.