Heritage Food Pantry to hold open house this Sunday

Staff report

The Heritage Food Pantry Warehouse and Distribution Center at Rose Avenue will hold an open house and dedication this Sunday, Feb. 7, beginning at 2 p.m.

“We invite you to attend this event for the largest food pantry distribution site in Fayette County, which will enable more than 60 families to receive assistance with food products that include over 3,000 pounds of dry goods, canned goods, as well as produce on a weekly basis,” said Sylvia A. Cloud, the pastoral administrative assistant at Heritage Memorial Church, located at 1867 U.S. Route 35 Southwest in Washington C.H.

The goal of the Heritage Food Pantry is to assist those families who are in need.

“We are a faith-based ministry and believe in feeding all people who are considered food insecure, no matter what their faith,” said Cloud. “We know the need is great due to many different circumstances: loss of job, injury, disability, and any number of other situations. The food we give is to help families get through these hard times, freeing up money they would spend to keep their family fed and using it to pay for other necessities such as utilities. Families may receive assistance one time each month at this facility.”

The Heritage Food Pantry began on a very small scale at the church in the early 1980s, gradually increasing its outreach by eventually relocating in 2012 to the Rose Avenue Community Center, which was established by the church in 2009. The pantry expanded over the past three years to the point that a larger, permanent facility became a necessity.

The Heritage congregation voted to proceed with this project and established a building fund with donations from the church congregation, private donations, and grants from the United Way. Eight months after breaking ground, the Food Pantry, an 1,800 square foot building on the Pearl Street side of the community center, now houses a walk-in freezer and cooler unit, of 3,808 cubic feet, in addition to a pantry and distribution area.

The facility was built to specifications in order to receive more food to be stored and distributed, including pallets of food from distributions centers as well as Mid-Ohio Food Bank. This will help to reduce costs of food and handling, said Cloud, as well as reduce frequency of ordering and will practically eliminate order pickups from the Grove City Food Bank. With the opening of this sizable warehouse and distributions facility, the number of families assisted is expected to double.

The Heritage Food Pantry is part of the Feed America Program, which is a national program to help those in need in our nation. Walmart Corporation, a Feed America partner, contributes three times a week to this pantry. Each week, several hundred individuals in need of food contact the Food Pantry.

This past Tuesday, the newly-built facility held its first official distribution. The official open house this Sunday starts at 2 p.m. and everyone is invited to come tour the the distribution site.

For more information, contact the Food Pantry Director, Richard Monroe, at 740-572-3369 or at [email protected]

Staff report