Church ready to help needy

Published 9:47 am Thursday, February 19, 2009

Area families may begin to register today for free food that will be given away next week when the Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio mobile food pantry visits St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ironton.

Those who want to obtain assistance from the pantry must first obtain a referral from the non-profit organization, FirstLink. A referral, which is available one week prior to the pantry’s visitation date, must 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, social services officials said.

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The mobile food pantry is scheduled to visit twice a month. St. Paul pastor, the Rev. David Ritchie, said the first-ever mobile food pantry visit was a success.

“We gave almost 6,000 pounds of foods to 96 families. And we’re doing that twice a month,” Ritchie said.

The food pantry visit will be 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 101 S. Sixth St.

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.

The food 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.