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Food pantry looks to buy building

Harvest for the Hungry seeks $19,000 in donations

Harvest for the Hungry is looking for donations to buy the building they have been in for years at 120 N. Fifth St. in Ironton.

Diane Porter, the director of Harvest for the Hungry, said they have been in that building since September 2012 and are excited by the opportunity to purchase it.

“The intent of the board of the First United Methodist Church is that they would eventually spin us off and that’s what we are in the process of doing,” she said, adding the board gave them the opportunity to purchase it recently for $19,000. “It’s a heck of a deal. We’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time.”

The food pantry began in 1992 in the basement of that church. Last year, they fed 15,962 people: 3,263 seniors, 8,483 adults and 4,216 children, for a total of 143,190 meals. It has remained open during the pandemic.

Since Harvest for the Hungry has been functioning independently for two years, it can’t qualify for a loan. It operates solely on donations and money goes towards buying food, paying utilities and focusing on the needs of the community.

To help kick off donations and help the pantry reach its goal, two anonymous donors have made pledges. The first donor will match the first $1,000 and the second will match the next $500, which means the first $1,500 donated becomes $3,000.

Harvest for the Hungry has set up a separate account for building donations at US Bank so the funds don’t intermingle.

Porter said that if they can purchase the building, they hope to possibly expand their services as well.

“We would love to be able to provide diapers to families with newborns or laundry detergent,” she said. “Things they can’t buy with food stamps.

Once we get the building paid for, we can focus our energy on getting grants for other things.”

All donations can be sent to PayPal via Harvestforthehungry@outlook.com or checks can be mailed to Harvest for the Hungry, PO Box 153, Ironton, OH 45638.