Greater Groveport Food Pantry hopes to be in new location by year’s end


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The process to allow the Greater Groveport Food Pantry to move into the building at 595 Cherry St. in Groveport is progressing.

On Sept. 14, Groveport City Council heard the second reading of an ordinance to allow a zoning variance for the food pantry to occupy the 76-year-old, 1,024 square foot, one story brick structure located on the southwest corner of Oak and Cherry streets. The city’s planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the variance on Sept. 8.

“It’s a good use for the site,” said Groveport Building Official Stephen Moore, who added the city will retain ownership of the building.

Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said the lease agreement for the building between the city and food pantry has been sent to food pantry officials for review.

Moore said no exterior changes are expected for the building and that the food pantry will remodel the interior to fit its needs according to city code.

Greater Groveport Food Pantry Director Becky Soles said plans are for volunteers to do some of the interior work.

“We’re hoping to get access to the building by early October to start some of the minor work,” said Soles.

Soles said she does not yet know what the total cost will be for the remodeling.

“We still have to get official cost estimates from the contractor and architect,” said Soles.
She said the food pantry is holding fund raisers, applying for grants, and seeking private donations to help fund the costs of the work. Anyone interesting in donating financially to the effort can send a check earmarked for the building project to: Greater Groveport Food Pantry, 4575 Madison Lane, Groveport, OH 43125.

“We’ve been getting good support from the community,” said Soles.

When asked how soon the food pantry could move into the building, Soles said it depends on how long it takes to get through the governmental process.

“We’d like to be in by the end of the year,” said Soles. “But I don’t know for certain yet when we will be in the building.”

The pantry is currently located in the basement of the Madison Township Community Center, 4575 Madison Lane, Groveport. It has been in this location free of  charge since 1997. Pantry officials want to move from this location because its steep stairwell is difficult for volunteers and clients, there are no bathroom or water facilities, and the pantry needs more space.

The pantry serves clients who live within the boundaries of the Groveport Madison School District. Approximately one third of the clients live in the city of Groveport with the rest residing in Madison Township. The pantry has experienced a 50 percent increase in food requests from clients since 2007.

The pantry is a non-profit organization operated by a volunteer board of directors comprised of representatives from 10 area churches. It receives no outside funding, has no guaranteed monthly income and operates on donations.

The pantry’s operations are limited with a volunteer there less than two hours per day making deliveries and stocking shelves. Clients visit the pantry by appointment during a four hour window on Thursdays.

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