Community spirit powers pantry
With tough economic times gripping the nation many food pantries experience trouble keeping items on their shelves, but that has not proven to be the case in Granville.
The Bulkley Avenue food pantry has been doing better than many in the area Zelker said, based on what he hears from others.
“We’ve been very fortunate; where other’s shelves are empty we’re pretty well filled,” Zelker said, “Everybody’s just been pitching in to keep this going.”
He credits the community for its continued enthusiastic support of the pantry.
“We’re incredibly well stacked because of the overwhelming generosity of this community,” he said.
Recent donations from organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Gemini Fitness from their fun run, the Granville Lions Club, the post office and others have kept the shelves well-stocked, augmenting the weekly collections that area churches take in.
Some just bring food to the pantry, at all hours of the day or night.
“I live right next to the pantry so sometimes at night the motion detector lights will come on and people have just dropped off food,” he said.
Zelker said the food pantry serves the same area as the Granville School District and added that many people in the area probably qualify for the pantry’s service but do not realize it.
The pantry went away from providing holiday baskets many years ago, he said, and instead focuses on month-to-month helping of those in need.
“We do normal monthly baskets, so it’s not just the one-time deal, we’re operating as normal,” he said.
“We used to put an artificial deadline on it but then some people would miss it,” he said. “Now, it’s just on a continuous basis, it’s not just that one day for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s continuous.”
Zelker said each church was aware and have a list of staple food products for donations and cash is always welcome.
Extra can always be dealt with. Zelker said, “We have enough storage for a rainy day.”
Currently, Zelker said church members are asked for contributions of dessert makings from bread or cake mixes to frosting, Jello and other treats.
“We vary the topics and items each month,” he said.
“I think it says an awful lot for Granville and the sense of deep community between the churches and other organizations and the people. It says an awful lot about the people here,” Zelker said.
Want to help?
Anyone wishing to contribute can send a donation through the mail to the food pantry by addressing it to 23 Bulkley Avenue, the pantry operates out of the basement of the Catholic Church. The church office is open from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but the pantry is open Saturdays, usually from 11 to 11:30 a.m. For those looking for a little help getting by on their food bill, Zelker said they just need to call 642-1262 and register with some kind of proof they live in the Granville School District along with something that provides proof of income.