Greater Groveport Food Pantry now in its 25th year

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

The Greater Groveport Food Pantry.

The Greater Groveport Food Pantry celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and, when times get tough, the pantry, as always, is there to help the community.

Food pantry history
The Greater Groveport Food Pantry, located at 595 Cherry St. in Groveport, was created in 1996.

“Back then, area churches had small cabinets of food tucked in corners to help feed those in need,” said Greater Groveport Food Pantry Director Becky Soles. “So Madison Township leaders, civic groups, and many churches decided to form a community food pantry to cover the Groveport Madison school district area.”

Soles said the food pantry organizers were given the basement in the Madison Township Community Center to setup operation and the food pantry spent 20 years there providing emergency food assistance to families within the Groveport Madison school district boundaries.

“Then five years ago, the city of Groveport allowed us to move into the red brick building at 595 Cherry St.,” said Soles. “We remodeled and designed the interior to fit our services and make it comfortable for our volunteers and neighbors in need.”

The Greater Groveport Food pantry is its own 501C-3 faith based non-profit charity operated by volunteers from area churches of different denominations on a rotating schedule.

“We are entirely self supported by donations from our community and local organizations,” said Soles.

About the food pantry
When asked if demand for services at the food pantry has increased recently,” Soles said,

“After low numbers during the pandemic, we are starting to see an increase in folks requesting assistance again.”

The food pantry continues to provide emergency, short-term assistance to any person residing within the boundaries of the Groveport Madison school district. Food distribution is on Thursdays each week by appointment only and to receive assistance you must live in the Groveport Madison school district.

To use the food pantry, call (614) 836-7652 before noon on Tuesday to make an appointment for Thursday of that week. The Greater Groveport Food Pantry serves residents once a month with a minimum of four weeks in between. When picking up your food, you must bring a state-issued photo ID and a piece of mail verifying your address.

“We serve the entire Groveport Madison school district, which includes five zip codes,” said Soles. “Of those five zip codes, 49 percent of those served are from the 43125 zip code and 49 percent are from the 43232 zip code.”

“The food pantry is a service to the community that is so important,” said Groveport Mayor Lance Westcamp. “To be able to provide a location where residents can get necessary food and everyday supplies, in their time of need, is a source of pride for Groveport. What a great asset for the community. We are lucky for the volunteers who operate the food pantry.”

Soles said the school district community has been “very generous during the pandemic with financial and food donations the entire time. We have been blessed, during the pandemic especially, with the support we’ve received of multiple financial and food donations from the Groveport Madison school district community. We are so grateful for the community’s support.”

Groveport Madison Schools Superintendent Garilee Ogden said food insecurity is among the most serious challenges that many families face – possibly never more so now during the COVID pandemic.

“I think we should all be grateful to the food pantries and the many individuals, companies, and organizations that donate and support programs of this nature,” said Ogden. “Groveport Madison Schools has been a leader in offering free breakfasts to all students, regardless of their family’s financial situation, and we are looking at opportunities to build and strengthen partnerships with the food pantry and other organizations and service providers to assist families wherever possible.”

The Greater Groveport Food Pantry accepts donations. To make an appointment to leave your donation at the food pantry, call (614) 836-7652. You may also drop off donations at Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main St., Groveport.

Greater Groveport Food Pantry officials suggest the following donations: canned meats/seafood, canned/boxed potatoes, peanut butter, jelly, jam, crackers, muffin/cornbread mixes, boxed pasta, cereal, Jello puddings, rice (bagged or boxed), boxed dinners, macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, mac and cheese, spaghetti sauce, tea, coffee, juice, cake mixes with frosting, gravy mixes, toilet tissue, paper grocery bags, soap, and paper towels.

“Currently canned or boxed items are appreciated,” said Soles. “A few items on the most needed list are detergent, saltine crackers, sloppy joe mix, noodle pasta, canned tomato products, soups (vegetable, bean, pea, minestrone), especially Progresso and Chunky soups.”

Remember to check the expiration dates on any items you donate.

For information about the Greater Groveport Food Pantry, call (614) 836-7652 or visit www.groveportfoodpantry.com.

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