Xenia food pantry welcomes community to new location

The Xenia FISH Food Pantry welcomed community members to its new location on Cincinnati Avenue in Xenia. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS
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The Xenia FISH Food Pantry welcomed community members to its new location on Cincinnati Avenue in Xenia. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS

The Xenia FISH Food Pantry welcomed people into its new pantry for the first time since opening during the pandemic on Friday.

Patrons of the food pantry are now driving through the parking lot at the new location to get food boxes, but soon will be able to go inside with a grocery cart and pick out their own items.

The food pantry was previously on Ledbetter Road and moved to 774 Cincinnati Ave. in Xenia in May of 2020.

The FISH food pantry serves Greene County residents who need food every three weeks.

Gail Matson, president of the food pantry board, said it currently serves on average 800 to 1,200 families a month, or around 3,000 people. The need for food increased during the pandemic, she said, but has dropped back down to pre-COVID levels recently.

ExploreGreene County food pantry gets help as it plans to move

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
Caption
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.

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