By Andrea Cordle
The number of families served by the Grove City Food Pantry has almost tripled since 2000.
The pantry currently serves about 250 families per month. With an increase in need comes a demand for more space.
According to volunteer director Don Swogger, the food pantry is looking to relocate to a larger facility.
“We could serve 400 to 500 families a month, but we do not have the facility to do that,” said Swogger.
The food pantry, located at 2710 Columbus St., leases building space from the Grove City United Methodist Church. The space it currently has is about 1,500 square feet. Swogger said the pantry needs to double or even triple its square footage to keep up with demand.
“The United Methodist Church has treated us like gold,” said Swogger. “We would stay there if we could, but we are kind of land locked with that location.”
Swogger said the pantry is open to buying or leasing space but would like to remain in Grove City. Though there is no location in mind yet, Swogger said he is working with the city of Grove City to find space.
Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage said the city is acting as a facilitator for the food pantry. Stage said the city would be willing to share resources or help financially.
“We’re a friendly ear,” said Stage.
The mayor said it is not the same people each month to utilize the food pantry. He said people fall on hard times or lose a job and need a helping hand.
“We understand the need,” said Stage.
Swogger said he would like to see the pantry move into a facility with more storage space, a walk-in freezer and a walk-in cooler. Ideally, this new location would be close to a public transportation line and would be open by the end of 2019.
The Grove City Food Pantry serves families in Grove City, Harrisburg and Orient. Swogger said he would like to expand to nearby communities like Galloway as well. Those served must meet the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services income guidelines.
The pantry offers appointments to pick up food Monday through Friday as well as two Saturdays per month. Those interested in learning more or setting up an appointment, can contact Hands-On Central Ohio at handsoncentralohio.org or call 211.
The Grove City Food Pantry has been in the community for about three decades. It is funded by donations from residents, businesses and churches and is staffed by volunteers.
For those interested in donating to the expansion project, send checks to 2710 Columbus St., Grove City, Ohio, 43123.