Jul 21, 2022 - News

A day at Dublin Food Pantry shows growing needs

A close-up of a green grocery cart with a Dublin Food Pantry logo
A grocery delivery cart ready to be wheeled out to a family at Dublin Food Pantry. Photos: Alissa Widman Neese/Axios

👋 Alissa here. Last month, we reported on how food banks are struggling to keep shelves stocked amid rising costs and supply-chain disruptions.

  • After the interview, Dublin Food Pantry's executive director invited me to their drive-thru operation at Dublin Community Church to see it myself.

What I saw: Cars lined up well before opening time, a testament to the increase in hungry people who rely on this service.

  • Meat is newly rationed to once a month.
  • A soup stash — usually a well-stocked staple — had dwindled to just a few cans.
  • A donation of large cauliflower heads sparked a thoughtful debate. Save them for big families to reduce waste? Keep some for tomorrow? Or first-come, first-served?

Yes, but: Despite the challenges and uncertainty, the volunteer crew made for an efficient, good-spirited assembly line.

A volunteer selects meat from rows of boxes while holding a Kroger grocery bag
Volunteer Tom Liu selects meat for a family's grocery package at the Dublin Food Pantry, which operates in the basement of Dublin Community Church.

❤️ One heartwarming moment: A patron was worried that waiting in line would deplete her gas tank, so somebody gave her $10 for a couple gallons on the way home.

The bottom line: Our community needs help and its nonprofits do too.

What you can do: Ask pantries what they need or make a cash donation to the food banks that supply them. Central Ohio's regional food bank is the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.

Pantry hours: 5:30-7:15pm Monday, 10-11:45am Tuesday, 4-6:15pm Thursday.

Two volunteers fill boxes with nonperishable food
Volunteers Shivli Pendkar, left, and James Kubik fill boxes with nonperishable food and personal care items. Families can receive one per month.
Piles of boxes of cardboard food are stacked toward the ceiling
With dozens of families served every day they're open, these stacks of food boxes won't last long.
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