Mobile food pantry to visit Ironton

Published 10:35 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In December, members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ironton and a sister congregation, All Saints Lutheran Church in Columbus, teamed up for their Christmas With Dignity food giveaway.

At that time, organizers said they hoped to begin regular food giveaways early in 2009.

Next week, hope will become reality when Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio (LSS) launches its first mobile food pantry project in Lawrence County. Those who want to obtain may begin signing up later this week.

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The Feb. 12 stop is the first of what organizers hope will be regular visits aimed at helping feed the area’s needy families.

The food pantry visit will be 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 101 S. Sixth St.

“Many southeast Ohio residents are in need of food assistance, and a number of pantries in the region have closed or are struggling to provide for their families. It is extremely difficult for families during these tough times,” said Barb Packer, corporate director of food pantry services.

“Our mobile food pantry truck will help alleviate that burden for 200 Lawrence County residents each month, and we hope to increase that number as we progress in this endeavor.”

The mobile pantry will visit the area on the second and fourth Thursday of every month and will serve 100 qualifying Lawrence County residents per trip.

Each client may use the pantry once per month and will receive a three-day supply of food. Identification for every family member must be shown each visit and clients are asked to bring their own box or bags to carry the provided food.

“There will be a wide variety of food from the major food groups,” LSS Director of Communications Jennifer Hamilton said. “People can go along and choose the food they life based on the quantity allowed for the size of their family.”

Those who want to use the pantry must have a referral from the non-profit organization, FirstLink.

A referral, which is available one week prior to the pantry’s visitation date, can be received by calling 1-877-704-3663 from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays. The line is also open 7 a.m.- 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Eligibility is based on gross annual income.

A person with a yearly income of $20,799 or less may be eligible to receive food; a family of two may have a yearly income of no more than $27,999; a family of three may have a gross annual income of no more than $35,199 and a family of four may have a yearly gross income of no more than $42,399, Hamilton said.

The food that will be given out has been donated from Lutheran congregations, other contributors and from the Mid Ohio Food Bank.

Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio (LSS) is a health and human service agency serving thousands of people each day throughout central, southeast and northeast Ohio.

LSS provides food pantries, homeless shelters, senior living, affordable housing communities and other programs and services that uplift families and strengthen communities.

LSS is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, recognized by the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and a charter member of Lutheran Social Services in America.