Community Gem: Marcia Ehlers helped launch ‘Pantry on a Post’

Marcia Ehlers established Pantry on a Post to bring food to food insecure population.

Credit: Colin Simpson

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Marcia Ehlers established Pantry on a Post to bring food to food insecure population.

Credit: Colin Simpson

DAYTON — Marcia Ehlers’ efforts during the pandemic has helped hundreds of people in need who lack transportation get food during the pandemic.

Ehlers is the assistant director of human services and outreach at Good Neighbor House, an agency founded in 1994 by eight Dayton area Seventh-Day Adventist churches. The Dayton resident joined the Good Neighbor House, which provides medical and dental care, food support and other services for people who need it, 14 years ago.

“I can’t look at my community and say anything negative about it if I’m not investing myself in my community to make it a stronger and better place. I’ve been very blessed to become part of this job and this job has definitely become a part of me,” Ehlers said.

Ehlers was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by Leah Jung, Ann Stevens, and other community members who said she is determined and selfless in her service efforts.

“Marcia is kind to everyone who walks through the door, helping them with food, personal care items, clothing, and encouragement,” Stevens said. “She goes above and beyond to help others, often working weekends and nights making deliveries to ensure people in need don’t go without.”

Ehlers recently helped design and implement the Pantry on a Post program, which consists of wood boxes mounted on posts around the city that are kept stocked with canned or boxed food for anyone to use. The initiative started with two boxes last fall and has grown to nine since April.

“I’m just humbled, surprised, and very grateful,” Ehlers said. “It blows my mind that so many people are getting involved with this idea and I couldn’t have done this without them.”

The services that Ehlers helps provide are free. Pantry on a Post is meant to take food to people in the region that may not be able to get to the Good Neighbor House offices on East First Street in downtown Dayton.

“This lady is selfless; she puts everyone first in her mission and it shows in her spirit and her job. I’m amazed at her and feel strongly in her mission is changing the community for the better,” Jung said.

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