CUTLER - Opening soon at the Cutler Community Center, the new USDA affiliated 3-C Food Pantry will serve residents of Wesley, Fairfield and Decatur Townships.
It will be the only food pantry in the Cutler area and will offer some much needed support to area residents, said Ann Oberdier, a member of the Cutler Ladies Aid.
"There are no other ones out there," said Oberdier, pointing to the need for a food pantry that will serve the most western part of Washington County.
The 3-C Food Pantry will open on Nov. 30 at the community center at 4550 Two Mile Run Road, Cutler, and after that will be open the third Friday of every month, said Bruce Kelbaugh, who has spearheaded the project.
"We need the citizens' support to make this work," he said.
Currently, he and other volunteers are trying to set up a donors' board where members could pledge to contribute a monthly amount. The monetary donations would help to pay for the food, which is ordered through the Logan Food Bank, added Kelbaugh.
Fairfield, Decatur and Wesley townships are comprised of approximately 3,000 residents, some of whom have struggled to make ends meet in these tough economic times, said Oberdier.
"There are a lot of people that either have no jobs or are not able to work. Times are not very good," she said.
The economy has impacted many small communities, all of whom would benefit by the addition of a food pantry, said Fairfield Township Trustee LeeAnn Piggott.
"I'm sure it will have a very, very positive impact," said Piggott.
The guidelines for usage of the food pantry follow USDA client eligibility guidelines. A family of one is eligible with annual income of up to $21,659, a family of two up to $29,139, a family of three up to $36,619 and a family of four up to $44,099. On their initial visit clients will have to provide a photo ID, proof of residency in Wesley, Fairfield or Decatur Township and proof of income, said Kelbaugh.
"We don't want to make people dependent on us, but we also want the support to be there for people who truly need it," he explained of the decision to put the pantry in the community center.
Fairfield Township Trustee Larry Miskimins said he thinks the food pantry will be well-utilized by area residents. The next nearest food pantry is the Western Washington County Food Pantry in Vincent, which is a quite a drive, pointed out Miskimins.
The Western Washington County Food Pantry has been in existence for around 20 years and the need has always been present, said Jeanie Miskimins, Larry's mother, who has been affiliated with the pantry for 13 years.
As the C-3 Food Pantry nears its opening date, there is still work to be done and equipment to be secured. For one thing, the pantry still needs an additional upright freezer and another large refrigerator, said Kelbaugh.
Additionally, he is looking for volunteers to help operate the pantry, he added.
Oberdier said she knows the community will rise to the occasion.
"There's an awful lot of care in that community," said Oberdier.
Individuals interested in volunteering or donating money or supplies to the C-3 Food Pantry can contact Kelbaugh at 989-2706.