West Toledo church to reduce food pantry service

The Pilgrim Church on Sylvania Avenue is eliminating one of its days of food pantry service.
The Pilgrim Church on Sylvania Avenue is eliminating one of its days of food pantry service.

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - On average, food pantries in Ohio open their doors to the needy only once or twice a month, but a local food pantry has been handing out food twice a week for six years. All that is about to change.

The Pilgrim Church in west Toledo is being forced to take away a day of their pantry service, even though the need for the food is not dwindling.

"The need out there is so great, and we are constantly busy. We have so many families coming through here," said Dawn Wilson, director of Pilgrim Church's Food Pantry program. "It's basically an emergency food pantry for people who have run out of their assistance at the end of the month."

For the past six years, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, people could come in and receive their food necessities, but recently the church has had a difficult time filling that need.

"We have a limited number of volunteers that help run the food pantry, and we're not able to keep up with the amount of people that come through twice a week. So we are eliminating the Tuesdays," said Wilson.

On average, the pantry helps 70 families a week, and last month helped a record 1,000 people.

Cynthia Roehrs regularly uses Pilgrim Church's pantry and said even though the economy has been slowly improving, the need for assistance is still high for some.

"I think it's still rough. It's a hard time right now. I'm thanking God that we have churches to help out," said Roehrs.

Pilgrim Church was one of the few food banks in the state that opened its doors twice a week. Most in the state only handed out food once or twice a month, which made the decision to consolidate the open pantry days difficult for Wilson.

"I'm very disappointed that the pantry is only going to be open one day a week, but we have to do what we can as a church to keep ourselves running," Wilson said.

If you would like to volunteer or donate to the Pilgrim Church's Pantry program, call 419-478-6012.

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