ANSONIA – Ansonia Community Food Pantry still has enough food supplies to feed people who are needing it during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The food pantry, however, could use donations of food and money to keep up the good work they are doing, especially in a day and age when people are losing jobs and children are being kept home from school.
“We service all of Darke County,” said Don Moyers, who heads up the food pantry.
A group of volunteers recently met in the kitchen of the Gathering Place at the Ansonia United Methodist Church to pre-pack groceries to keep a safe environment before distributing the food items that evening.
Those wanting the food donations park at the rear of the church in the alleyway to pick up their new food items.
“Since the virus, we’re bagging groceries for them and setting them up outside,” according to Moyers. “Everybody sits in their cars and wait until their names are called. People then come to the back door and get their groceries.”
Before Coronavirus hit, people could choose what they wanted, but rules have changed during this current situation.
Moyers has an extensive guideline now which they go by.
Volunteers from Ansonia First Church of God, Ansonia United Methodist Church and a group from the St. Henry Cluster of Catholic Churches help in the distribution.
“We served 995 people in 2019, and that was up 108 new people from 2018,” Moyers said. “We spent a total of $19,510 in 2019 and $7,240 was in vouchers for milk and other food items.”
The bags of food received goes according to the size of the family.
“We gave away 1,216 bags of groceries last year,” he said. “A family of one to two people gets three bags; families of three to five, four bags; and a family of six, receives five bags.
“Everyone must pick up their own groceries,” Moyers said. “Walk-ins are not accepted.”
Those interested in participating are asked to call Moyers for an appointment at 937-338-4798.
Volunteers Judy and Bill Collins go every week and a half to purchase foods for the pantry, which includes, if available, toiletries such as dishwashing detergent, laundry soap and toilet paper.
“Ansonia School helps with food every year thanks to the Boy Scouts and different organizations,” Moyers said. “It takes a lot of food to cover the distribution.”
Food is passed out between 10 and 11 a.m. on Mondays and 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
“Last year we averaged 83 a month,” Moyers said.
The popular items, he said, are the canned meats.
“Everyone gets a $20 food voucher, but cannot purchase gasoline, cigarettes, candy, soda pop or alcohol…just food items needed to help the family.”
The registration being used now was set up because of the Coronavirus and it’s extensive. Moyers came up with a set of guidelines, which includes food safety training for pantries and lots of other information by which they abide to not only protect themselves but the people receiving these “gifts”.
“We practice social distancing and have sanitizer for the helpers,” he said.
Those wanting to make donations to the cause, may call Judy Collins at 937-337-8643.