By Rick Palsgrove
The Greater Groveport Food Pantry could be open in its new location in Groveport by early summer.
We hope to be in by June, if not sooner, but that will depend on our construction schedule,” said Greater Groveport Food Pantry Director Becky Soles.
Last year, Groveport City Council approved legislation to allow the pantry to move into the city’s former police station, a 77-year-old, 1,024 square foot, one story, brick structure, located on .059 acres on the southwest corner of Cherry and Oak streets. The city had been using the building for storage.
Soles said the food pantry is using Bird Team LLC as the general contractor to coordinate the remodeling and refurbishing of the building for food pantry use. She said volunteers from participating churches and community groups are doing much of the work on the building to get it ready.
“So far we’ve removed interior walls and the drop ceiling to open up the space,” said Soles. “We have replaced exterior doors, HVAC, rewired the electrical, and installed new lighting. We still need to remodel the restroom, refinish the floors, and paint the walls and ceiling.”
Soles said the building’s open space will enable the food pantry to install 12 moveable metal storage shelves and other existing equipment in the building.
“Nothing will be attached to the walls,” said Soles.
She said the new location is an improvement over the food pantry’s existing site, located at 4575 Madison Lane.
“The new site has a larger area, has a restroom and is on one floor, with no stairs, which will mean it will have easier accessibility for the disabled and our volunteer staff,” said Soles.
Soles noted that separate funds to pay for the building remodeling project were obtained by last year’s golf outing fund raiser and donations from civic organizations, churches, and private individuals.
“Our regular operating funds are not being used for this remodeling project,” said Soles.
When asked if the new location will have different operating hours from the current location, Soles said, “The board of coordinators is considering other options, but for now we will continue distribution only on Thursday afternoons.”
Soles said the Greater Groveport Food Pantry plays an important role in the community.
“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.
She said the food pantry is experiencing an increase in the number of people using its services.
“We are servicing about 20 more families per month so far this year,” said Soles. “It’s a continuous challenge to keep the pantry stocked due to the increased requests, especially in the summer months.”
To donate food to the Greater Groveport Food Pantry call (614) 836-7652 to arrange for delivery of food donations. To make a monetary donation, mail a check to Greater Groveport Food Pantry, 4575 Madison Lane, Groveport, OH 43125.
For information, or a list of needed food items for donation, or to find out about upcoming community food collection events, visit groveportfoodpantry.com.
About the Greater Groveport Food Pantry
•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 more than 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.
(Information provided by Becky Soles, director of the Greater Groveport Food Pantry.)