Updated: Mar 26
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King
It was not a traditional 45th anniversary celebration due to the pandemic. It has been a year of cancelled events, however, Dublin Food Pantry is still honoring our community of supporters - the many people and partners who have powered the pantry for four-and-a-half decades by sharing our thanks to all who powered Dublin Food Pantry for 45 years.
Our thank you list is a long one!
We are thankful to all who support and utilize Dublin Food Pantry. Our pantry is about community - neighbors helping neighbors. There is not a corner of the Dublin School District or City of Dublin that hasn't been a part of the pantry's story in some way. At the pantry, we are thankful to see both the acts of kindness through donations and volunteering and the profound impact of the kindness.
Dublin City Council issued a proclamation commemorating the 45 years of service, personally delivered by Dublin Mayor Chris Amorose Groomes. This proclamation recognized our generous and supportive community "carrying on Dublin Food Pantry's legacy and envisioning a community where everyone has access to sufficient, nutritious food and the necessities for well-being."
Community support means everything. Together, we are #fillingheartsandcarts
A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR 45 YEARS
Dublin Food Pantry (DFP) is located in Dublin Community Church (DCC) which was built in 1887 when Dublin was still a village. Dublin's Journey, a history book about Dublin, mentions that after a 1912 tornado destroyed two nearby churches, all three congregations were welcomed into this location, forming Dublin Community Congregation Church in March 1913. This spirit of shared space for the greater good continues today since DCC allows Dublin Food Pantry to serve our community from this Historic Dublin location.
March 19, 1976 is considered the official start of Dublin Food Pantry since it is the date of the non-profit designation attained by Dublin Community Church to formally operate the pantry. The Rev. Robert Bradstreet, who pastored from 1972 to 1988, noted that pantry support was community wide. Beginning in the 1980's area churches signed up for assigned months to staff the food pantry with volunteers.
Pantry founders noted that the pantry began as a large closet in the late 1970’s. A couple of decades later it expanded to offer a “choice” grocery-like experience. In1991, an article in Dublin Suburban News quoted volunteer pantry co-ordinator Lynne Rose thanking 16 area churches and many schools for donations.
Because of the pandemic, now the pantry encompasses much of DCC's lower-level addition built in the 1990’s. DCC has allowed the pantry to expand not only floor and refrigeration space but also allows expanded use of the parking lot for curbside service. Dublin Community Church is an important reason the pantry can serve so many, so well.
Volunteers, partners and donors are an integral part of Dublin Food Pantry's 45 year history.
Group and individual donations and support help us meet the growing need in our service area.
Our biggest community event has become a favorite community tradition - Sunday morning entry into the Dublin Irish Festival in exchange for a food or fund donation to DFP. Hundreds of volunteers pitch in and the results help power the pantry. Canceled in 2020, due to the pandemic, the City of Dublin and entire community have helped in new ways.
The pantry service area spans parts of three counties and eight zip codes. It includes the City of Dublin and the Dublin School District. Growth since 1976 has been substantial, for instance, the school district is now the 10th largest in Ohio.
In 1980, the Operation Feed Foodbank opened, eventually becoming the current Mid-Ohio Food Bank Collective. Today, DFP is one of Mid-Ohio Food Collective's 680 partner agencies. This partnership is significant. In addition to training and data tracking programs, DFP can access needed items from Mid-Ohio and collect weekly perishable food donations from area grocers.
Officially, we are the Dublin Area Emergency Assistance Program (DAEAP) and the pantry provides an emergency source of food, basic personal care items and links to resources. With growth, the pantry had to make adjustments. The surge in need during the recession of 2008 was particularly impactful in moving the pantry towards its current organizational structure.
In 2011, DFP's Volunteer Executive Director Linda Fisher met two of her pantry goals with the formation of a board who would hire the first professional Director. Fisher said, “It was a realization over time that this has just grown into more than what a volunteer can reasonably be asked to do and it has been at that point for three or four years” as reported by This Week in October of 2011.
Although day-to-day operations continued as usual, this Board updated DFP's 501(3)(c) non-profit designation so the pantry was independent from DCC in March of 2012. This had the full support of DCC's Senior Minister Rev. Robert Tussing since the growth of the pantry warranted the changes.
In the spring of 2012, DFP Board President Amy Tibbals announced that the Board hired Dublin Food Pantry's first paid employee, Executive Director Nancy Johnson.
The Executive Directors thus far have made impressive contributions:
· Nancy Johnson (2012-2015) continued the overhaul of pantry operations to a "choice" pantry where customers could load their shopping cart with selected grocery items
· Molly Arbogast, MSW (2015-2018) secured the largest grant to date to purchase the DFP cargo van and updated DFP's logo and marketing materials
· Denise "Dinky" Youngsteadt-Parrish (2019-present) is leading DFP through the Pandemic meeting the dual challenges of increased emergency need and safely supplying help. Customers still receive a shopping cart of groceries, although items are prepackaged and loaded into vehicles by volunteers to meet social distancing guidelines
Additionally, professional part-time Operations staff began with Lynne Hessler (2015-2018) who was previously DFP's volunteer Operations Coordinator. Director of Operations Jim Wilson, who assumed the role in 2018, has managed the complete overhaul of operations during the pandemic.
Our community, staff, board of trustees, partners and volunteers power Dublin Food Pantry. Together we are #fillingheartsandcarts
History of the Pantry Sources:
Dublin Community Church Staff and special thanks to Marco Boh
Dublin's Journey Local government print book publication. Dublin, OH 2004
dublinfoodpantry.org News and About Us