Greater Groveport Food Pantry needs donations

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The Greater Groveport Food Pantry is now located in this renovated building at 595 Cherry St. in Groveport.
The Greater Groveport Food Pantry is now located in this renovated building at 595 Cherry St. in Groveport.

The Greater Groveport Food Pantry needs your help with both food and financial donations.

“We are in need of canned corn, green beans, tomatoes, saltine crackers, rice and any non-perishable unexpired food items,” said Greater Groveport Food Pantry Director Becky Soles. “Our needs fluctuate based on the donations we receive. The Madison Township  Administration building, 4575 Madison Lane, and Groveport Town Hall, 684 Main St., are accepting donations and we will pick them up. Drop offs at our new location at 595 Cherry St, Groveport require a call to our answering machine (614) 836-7652 to make arrangements with one of our staff.”

Soles said the pantry also accepts financial donations.

“We survive totally on donations, so money is always appreciated since we have to purchase the perishable items every week, such as milk, eggs, butter, cheese, and meats,” said Soles.
Financial donations, which are tax deductible, can be mailed to Greater Groveport Food Pantry, P.O. Box 101 Groveport, OH 43125.

The pantry moved into into the city of Groveport’s former police station, a 77-year-old, 1,024 square foot, one story, brick structure, located at 595 Cherry St. in June.

“The larger area at the new location, makes for a nice work flow and our guests like the easy entry,” said Soles.

Soles said the new site’s open space enabled the pantry to install 12 moveable metal storage shelves and other necessary equipment.

“We were able to do the building renovations for close to what we had funded with volunteer helpers from some community organizations and donated material,” said Soles. “Our contractor was conservative and a tremendous asset to this project.”

Soles said there were a few unexpected costs in the renovations, but nothing major.
“The fund raisers and personal donations we received for the building project throughout the year totalled $15,000,” said Soles. “To date, our construction cost was slightly under $19,000.”

Soles said the pantry has enough shelving space at the moment, but there are other needs at the new site.

“We definitely are looking into replacing our aging refrigerators and/or purchasing a much larger freezer,” said Soles. “It would help us greatly with storing more items for longer periods of time.”

Soles said the pantry quarterly holds fund raisers with the Groveport Bob Evans where the pantry receives a percentage of the dinners purchased.

“We are also looking into other fund raising events like that,” said Soles. “We also have quarterly food drives at the Groveport Kroger store.”

The pantry serves clients who live within the boundaries of the Groveport Madison School District. According to Soles, approximately one third of the pantry’s clients live in the city of Groveport with the rest residing in Madison Township.

“There are many folks on fixed incomes for various reasons in the Groveport Madison school district area, so we provide a few days of emergency food to help them every 30 days. We are neighbors helping neighbors,” said Soles. “We have only been serving from the Cherry Street site for one month and haven’t noticed a rise in client numbers. As of now, our ‘no shows’ are higher, presumably due to the clients not being able to find the new location.”

The pantry’s normal operating hours are 3-7 p.m. on Thursdays.

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.

For information, or a list of needed food items for donation, or to find out about upcoming community food collection events, visit groveportfoodpantry.com.

“Our board of directors would like to express our gratitude to the entire Groveport Madison School District community for the overwhelming support and encouragement this past year with this food pantry building project. It truly does take a ‘Village!’” said Soles.

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