DARKE COUNTY — The Fish Choice Pantry has begun its annual “Feed Darke County” food drive, which kicked off at the Illumination Festival held at the Darke County Fairgrounds on September 17.
According to Fish Director Kristy Cutarelli, donations are sorely needed to fill pantry shelves which have thus far this year served almost 1.800 households.
“The “Feed Darke County” initiative was conceived in 2009, and is our only true food drive during the year; right now, our shelves are getting frighteningly bare,” Cutarelli explained. “The Illumination Festival collection yielded 311 pounds of canned and packaged food, but much more is needed so that the organization can continue to meet the needs of the community it serves,” she stated.
Many churches, clubs, organizations, businesses and individuals donate regularly to the Choice Pantry. Donations to Fish are welcomed throughout the year; however, Cutarelli said that the success of the harvest season “Feed Darke County” drive is essential to providing local families with the help they seek.
The Fish Choice Pantry, located at 400 Markwith Avenue in Greenville, provides a full range of food items from which clients can choose to meet their nutritional needs for a few days. Small donations of non-perishables can be left in the storage container behind the Pantry (access on Thirteenth Street); to give large donations and perishable items, contact Cutarelli at 937-316-8420 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to food, cleaning supplies, paper goods, and personal hygiene products are also appreciated, as these much-needed items cannot be purchased with food stamps.
Cutarelli said that volunteers are urgently needed, and those interested in helping should contact her.
The local Fish organization was formed in 1967 by an ecumenical group with the goal of doing good by reaching out to neighbors in need. In the intervening decades, Fish has evolved and changed while still attempting to achieve its mission of service to others.
Fish volunteers have logged almost 1,800 hours working at the Choice Pantry during 2016, while others have served by retrieving calls to the Fish phone at 548-2000, and making home-deliveries to those unable to access the Food Pantry.
The Fish Choice Pantry is open Mondays 1 – 2 p.m., Wednesdays 10 – 11 a.m., and Fridays 4- 5 p.m.