The Grove City Food Pantry probably got started in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s. At some point the Grove City Ministerial Association took responsibility for finding a host church to house the pantry and find a volunteer director. The directorship proved to be a bigger job than one person could handle and burn out was common.
A crises occurred in 1996 when the director resigned and the pantry was in danger of closing. At that point a few lay persons from four local churches met to see what could be done. Each church representative agreed to meet once a month and to take a particular responsibility.
As summer approached the acting director informed the group that he would be going fishing for a month. The others agreed to fill in. It was a pivotal moment. After sharing the directorship they realized that the only way the pantry would survive was for the directorship be a revolving responsibility on a monthly basis between the four churches. This system remained in force until an official board of directors was organized in the fall of 2007.
Since then the pantry has grown in the number of persons served, in community awareness and support. The pantry moved from a small room in the basement of Grove City UMC to their vacant parsonage facing Columbus Street. It was remodeled and furnished with more adequate storage spaces, freezers, and a more secure area for volunteers to serve clients. The number of families served has almost tripled since 2000.
The pantry is funded by monetary and food donations from local residents, businesses and churches. Besides the four volunteer directors who make sure that adequate food is secured another 80-90 volunteers are needed each month to serve the clients of daily basis.