TOLEDO, Ohio — Volunteers at Mustard Seed Outreach Ministry are on a mission to better the lives of others.
“Years and years ago, my husband had to have surgery and couldn’t work and I had to go somewhere to get help for us, so I know what it feels like. That’s why I can relate to the people who come in - I know what they’re going through,” Director and Founding Member Lori Jarrell said.
What started as a food bank among several local churches more than 20 years ago in Toledo’s Point Place neighborhood has grown into so much more.
Now, there are books, toys, personal hygiene items, clothing for all ages and even a backyard garden for fresh produce.
“Seniors are very proud and they were reluctant at first. Families with children are better at it, but the seniors were reluctant and now there’s more seniors coming,” Jarrell said.
“(Also), a lot of single men who either for one reason or another aren’t working and aren’t old enough to get Social Security (now are involved).”
The organization also helps individuals and families financially with things like utilities, birth certificates and identification cards.
“They have to have those in order to get housing or anything else. If they don’t have the money to get them they can apply and we’ll help them get that,” she said.
The pantry is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. as well as Tuesdays from 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
The next goal is to create an after-school program for children but more space is needed.
When this started there were 75 clients. Now, this location serves about 500 people from the 43611 and 43604 ZIP Codes.
Mustard Seed is located at 5420 302nd St.
To donate, volunteer or if you need help call 419-727-1800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org