If you happened to find a walk-in box on sale at an auction would you bid on it? Would you then dismantle it piece by piece, haul it home and then re-build it? That is exactly what the volunteers at the Mt. Healthy Alliance did! And lo and behold, they had a walk–in cooler to store milk and eggs.
Tucked away in the basement of Mt. Healthy Christian Church is a wonderful little pantry that serves the community of Mt. Healthy. The pantry, which has been around since 2007, works with the residents of the neighborhood providing fresh produce, meat, milk, eggs, bus tickets and referrals to agencies that can help with medical, clothing, furniture and financial needs.
The Mt. Healthy Alliance Inc., a partner of the Freestore Foodbank is a volunteer-driven organization that is formed out of the collaboration of twelve churches in the community and founded on the belief that collaboration can make a difference when it comes to helping others. Each congregation that is a member of this alliance provides food, clothing and other supplies. Mt Healthy Alliance Inc. also operates an after-school youth program on Hamilton Ave.
The Mt. Healthy Alliance recently received a capacity development grant from the Freestore Foodbank which allowed them to purchase an industrial freezer. “The freezer has been a real blessing,” says Kathy Lorenz, Director of the pantry. “We are able to store food safely and it has increased our capacity greatly.” The pantry started operating at the Christian church in 2008. They have grown in size over the years. “We used to serve 15 families a week when we started,” Lorenz remarks. “However, now we serve over 1,000 families during the course of the year.” The Alliance won three chest freezers and a conveyor belt through a different grant a few years ago.
The pantry is run totally by volunteers- from the Pantry Director to those who help the clients carry food to the car. “We are a group of churches working together to make life better in the neighborhood,” says Joyce Lech, Assistant Director of the pantry. “We try to do as much good as possible by collaborating with one another.” They receive a lot of help from the community. “We receive donations from Kroger, Walmart and Meijer among others. The local schools help us too. Le Salle and St. Xavier High School help us out and so does Mathew 25: Ministries and host of other local organizations.”
The Freestore Foodbank is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Mt. Healthy Alliance.