• Katie Ailshire

Help set the table

With the weather getting colder and holidays approaching, many people wonder how they can serve their community. The Open Table Food Pantry is a great place to serve people local to Lewis Center. Lisa Jackson runs The Open Table Food Pantry. The food pantry opened in 2009 and is held at Grace Point Church, located on the corner of Peachblow and Piatt Rd. “It was started by a group of members at Grace Point Community Church who felt God was leading them to show his love in our community,” Jackson said. The mission of The Open Table Food Pantry is to serve residents of Delaware County who are currently struggling and need help out of their current situation. “We started Open Table because the economy was not doing well, and all reports were showing that one in five families in Delaware County were going hungry every day. Delaware at that time had the smallest amount of food pantries available and the largest per number of people in need,” Jackson said. Although it has been eight years since statistics for hunger were so high in Delaware, people in the community are still struggling with hunger and serving at Open Table is a great way to combat that. They open their doors at 6 a.m. on the second Tuesday and fourth Thursday of each month. They serve a hot meal to the clients at 6:30 p.m.. Afterwards, they help the clients go through the choice pantry to choose items they would like to take home. They have clothing that clients shop for and toiletries that they need on a daily basis. Open Table also has someone available at the resource table who can help clients with additional services such as helping to pay electric bill, talking to someone for guidance, additional pantries if they need help more than the times the volunteers are available and even directing people that may be living in their car to a shelter, Jackson said. An adult in the area and occasional volunteer at Open Table Food Pantry, Vinnie Posteraro, loves serving local people in need through this program. “I have gone roughly six times before. What I love about the Open Table is that families who come are friends and feel comfortable and trust those who are serving there,” Posteraro said. Anyone who is interested in serving or donating should contact the church office to get more information. “We would love to have high school students’ help in many ways. They can sort donations, stock shelves, do a food or clothing drive, help cook and serve a meal on the days we are open and they can pray for those that we serve,” Jackson said. Other food pantries that can be found in Lewis Center to help locals in need and earn service hours would be WARM, Highpoint Community Outreach, Healthy Worthington Resource Center & Food Pantry, or People in Need Inc. of Delaware County Ohio. Go get out there and serve during this season of giving, Pioneers!

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