The new location used to be a storage garage for the county, but has been completely revamped. The garage now has windows, doors and a newly paved parking lot. Greene County commissioners helped get the FISH pantry into this new space with a community block development grant in 2019.
The new space is double the size of its old space, Matson said. The food pantry now has a kitchen and a dedicated space for the nonprofit Providing for Women, which donates feminine hygiene products to area schools and food pantries. Providing for Women has given out 500,000 pads and tampons to Greene County women since 2018.
Xenia's FISH Food Pantry welcomed community members to its new location on Cincinnati Avenue in Xenia. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS
The FISH pantry also now has space to grow its own produce.
Community donations have helped the food pantry open the new location and stay afloat during the pandemic. An Eagle Scout repainted the outside of the food pantry. Furniture was donated for the new space. Dave Coterel, owner of Kilkare Speedway and co-owner of Buckminn’s D&D Harley Davidson, donated a 40-by-40-foot freezer and cooler to the food pantry.
On Friday, the pantry welcomed community members into the pantry for a “taste of the pantry,” serving snacks all made from food that can be found at the pantry. Snacks included a veggie cup, macaroni salad and a cheese ball. Volunteer Jayne Wead said the goal was to bring community members in and show the creative snacks that can be made from food at the FISH pantry.
“We want to offer our services to all of Greene County, and hopefully, many of these communities will offer their help in return to provide for the hungry in Greene County,” Matson said.
The FISH pantry operates on donations and grants and is entirely volunteer-run, Matson said. To donate or find out more information about the FISH pantry, go to its website or call (937) 372-8441.