Notes from the Pantry

September 23rd and 24th we served 350 households which would be about 500 by Bonnie’s count. We can expect the need to increase over the winter. Hopefully we are not done improving our distribution in pandemic. Fr Joe, Tony Herz and I have searched our area for a winter pantry location that would help us continue our drive through. We have looked at former bank, car dealership, or warehouse locations. If you have any ideas, please call one of us.

Also, if anyone has a lead on a factory roller conveyor, we have imagined that a section of that could help us move boxes. Our new chest freezer on wheels is making all of us smile, and we will soon move our new dual fridge/freezer unit into the kitchen.

Again, I cannot thank volunteers enough. Some new people have found low-risk ways to slip in to action and our veterans led by Pat and Terri continue to adapt and keep us humming. Many of you have seen Andrew and Jacob’s reflections on the Grace YouTube channel, well worth viewing if you haven’t.

Soon we will make available some more interviews from Pantry volunteers. One highlight to me is how even Riley (though who of us is surprised) notices how confused we were when we converted to drive through, but how well it works now. God’s Grace again. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your work. Thank God for our mission.


Notes from the Pantry

I cannot write enough gratitude to cover all that is happening at the pantry to feed people, which means to me that Grace is flowing freely through the pantry and with those working remotely. A few anecdotes: Gloria and Pam (recipient volunteers) insisted on returning to the pantry. Pam fed us all banana bread last week. And Gloria now sweeps the floor during the end of every distribution, calling herself the “Floor Manager.” Don and Paulette come on Tuesdays to work with Pat, and have made a huge psychological impact by doing jobs we would not easily get to. Two volunteers have been coming regularly from First Christian. Nelson has fixed many of our bikes, making for some very happy riders. A new volunteer, Sally, now comes every Thursday from First Christian and is quickly becoming integral. (She also donated her husband’s bicycle, one of the best we have ever given. Sally met her future husband on the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure and rode together for 50 + years till he recently passed away.) Grace flowing out of, in to, Grace. Joe received a hundred dollars from a former recipient who said they do not need the food now, but want us to stay strong!

We say good bye to two men who have given us strength in the last 5 months. Jacob and Andrew Stump now anticipate and meet the needs of our distribution with great aplomb. Jacob has also grown an inch over the summer, probably from all the ice cream at his second job! Neither of them slow down long enough at the church to take on any nourishment. We will miss them as they go to further their education, but they have taught us how it is done!

We served 362 households in the last week of August, which would have been a normal week last year. 1162 households in the month of August, a typical month for last year. While our numbers for the last three months were 70% of who we served during the same three months of 2019, it seems that we are increasing significantly. Our “new” electric pallet jack is a help.

We are now exploring options for safe winter distribution so if you have ideas give Fr. Joe or I a call and watch for more news.


Thank You Kokosing

This year’s Kokosing Food Drive was an enormous success. Kokosing employees Jerry Estep, Mike Matheny, Brian Strong, Steve Thompson, and Lee Erhardt collected 937 non-perishable food items. In addition to the generous gift of food items, they raised a monetary donation, which when met with Kokosing’s company match, totaled $9,757.00!

This generous gift was delivered in two trucks and presented to Fr. Joe Ashby and Marti Wellendorf, Food Pantry Director, Jerry Estep, Terminal Manager, on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at Kokosing Materials Mansfield Terminal. On hand to take the photo was the Vice President of Kokosing, Inc., Mr. Lee Schloss.

We would like to express our sincere and deepest Thanks for this fantastic gift. This donation will help us buy 100,000 meals. Each year we supply around 250,000 meals to families in need of aid in Richland County.

Again, we say thank you to Kokosing Inc. and to Kokosing Materials and their wonderful employees for their generous gifts to our Food Pantry to help fulfill our mission of feeding our neighbors.

Thank you Kokosing!

On Thursday, October 6th, 2011, Kokosing Materials, Inc. delivered 800 non-perishable food items and presented an $1,100 check to our pantry. Jerry Estep, Nick Davis, and Mike Matheny, from the Mansfield AC Terminal made the presentation. In addition to delivering the food items the men also unloaded the food and helped stock the supplies.

Many thanks to Kokosing and their wonderful employees for their generous gifts to our Food Pantry. Kokosing not only encouraged their employees to donate food items and cash, but in addition, Kokosing matched each food item and doubled each cash donation. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to working with you in the future.