December 12, 2018

St. Bartholomew officially opening new food pantry by end of June

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A new food pantry has come to Mio and will be officially opening its doors by the end of June.

It’s called the St. Bartholomew Community Food Pantry and is a Love inc. affiliate based out of St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church. Reverend Allan Feltner said the idea to start a new food pantry felt right to him and his church.

“We are not a large parish at only 30-35 strong,” Feltner said. “We asked for guidance on how we can be a proponent of social justice issues in the county. There was a food pantry that recently closed in Luzerne. So we, as a church, decided it was pretty obvious where we ought to be.”

Feltner said once the pantry is officially opened, the plan is to open the doors every other friday to those in need.

“Right now all we’re dealing with are local donations,” Feltner said. “(They) have been magnificent so far. We go to Family Fare every wee and collect what they were unable to sell. … We save, refrigerate and freeze everything we can for the people.”

As of now he church is working on building a storage facility for the food. It is taking a two-stall garage and converting it into a long term pantry. Feltner said he hopes to be able to officially open the doors to the new facility within two-four weeks. He said the more volunteers they receive to help, the faster they can open their doors to help more people.

“It’s called the St. Bartholomew Community Food Pantry because we’re receiving support financially, and in manpower from other churches,” Feltner said. “We can’t do this on our own … we’re looking for volunteers to support us in any way they feel pulled.”

Feltner said this food pantry will be slightly different than others.

“We try to maintain a shopping environment to maintain the dignity,” Feltner said. “We are not going to give them a box to go home with. We’re going to have store-like environment so they have some choice.”

For more information on the food pantry, call the Oscoda County Love INC branch at (989) 848-2020. Once the food pantries new facility is finished it will be open every other friday from 12-2 p.m.

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