LIMA — The West Ohio Food Bank has opened an on-site food pantry at its Kibby Street distribution center to meet demand from clients who need help with groceries.
The pantry — located at 1380 Kibby St. — will be open from 4-6 p.m. Wednesdays and noon to 2 p.m. Fridays, during which patrons can pick up meat, produce, dairy and more.
This is a new venture for the West Ohio Food Bank, which distributes food to more than 100 partner agencies and holds its own distribution hours for area families on Friday mornings. But working clients are often unable to make it during those hours, according to West Ohio Food Bank CEO Linda Hamilton.
“We know 55% of individuals in our area are working,” Hamilton explained.
“For (someone) to leave work to go to a food distribution — we only have a half-hour lunch. There’s no way that we would be able to leave work, go to a pantry, get food and get back in time,” she said. “We’re looking at trying to be open in evening hours and when other pantries are not open.”
The West Ohio Food Bank recently received $17,500 in grants from UnitedHealthcare’s Empowering Health program, which helped purchase commercial freezers and coolers the food bank uses to stock meat and produce in the pantry area.
Hamilton hopes to continue growing the on-site pantry with shopping carts and additional storage racks.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.