“There’s a food pantry in Dublin?!?”
We get that a lot when we are out and about, mingling with people from the greater central Ohio region. Not only is there a food pantry in Dublin, it’s pretty busy, too. Every day that we are open, dozens of households come to shop for groceries at no cost to them. It’s what we do because that’s what they need.
There are also food pantries operating in places like Hilliard, Worthington, and Upper Arlington, among other reasonably affluent suburbs. So Dublin is not unique–but neither are those other places. In fact, there are now more people living in poverty in suburban areas than urban areas.
The Brookings Institute released this report in October. Suburban communities around the country are reporting record high levels of people in need. Nearly 1 in 10 suburbanites lived in poverty in 2022 (9.6 percent). While post-pandemic poverty is on the rise in all settings (cities, suburban, small/mid-size metro areas, and rural), the rise in suburban poverty outpaced the other areas.
Dublin is statistically representative. With about 50,000 residents, we can expect about 10 percent to be at or below the poverty level. That would be 5,000 people. Dublin Food Pantry provides service to families that earn up to 200 percent of the poverty level. Assuming that doubles the original total, that would come to about 10,000 residents.
And how many people came to Dublin Food Pantry for assistance last year? Yep–about 10,500.
So the numbers don’t lie–there’s a need for a food pantry in Dublin, and that’s why we’re here.