The Board of Directors of the Caring & Sharing Food Pantry in Paulding is thrilled to announce its decision to construct a new permanent building that will house its operations, including storage, client shopping area, office and new client enrichment space. A new building, designed specifically for its needs, will help them serve the more than 12% of our county population that is dealing with food insecurity as identified by Feeding America.

“The new pantry location and building will help us serve more people, more frequently and with maximum respect, dignity and equality,” said Jodi Schneider, Executive Director. “It will also give us the space to offer additional educational, collaboration and outreach to the people in our community.”

“Work on a new building project has been underway during much of the past year,” said Alice Lawson Board President. “We’ve approved architect drawings and in May purchased the lot that is the future site of the Caring & Sharing Food Pantry.”

On May 21, 2021, the pantry purchased 318 North Walnut Street, a lot previously owned by Hartzog Lumber.

The next step to realizing the vision of a new Caring & Sharing Food Pantry location is to launch a fundraising campaign that will generate the funds needed to pay for the construction of a nearly 3,900-square-foot building. The budget is preliminarily estimated to be $500,000. In partnership with The Paulding County Area Foundation, the pantry is ready to accept financial gifts. Donations can be sent to the Caring & Sharing Food Pantry Building Fund in care of the Paulding County Area Foundation at 101 E. Perry Street, Paulding, Ohio 45879.

The Caring & Sharing Food Pantry is committed to making food available to its neighbors through the gifts of the community and the support of the West Ohio Food Bank. It is focused on eliminating the food insecurity of the people in Paulding County, as defined the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The Caring & Sharing Food Pantry began in 1980 in the basement of the rectory of what was St. Joseph Catholic Church. Due to the dedication and compassion of Deacon Francis Koenn and many caring county residents, the needs of many Paulding County families have been met. In 2003, the pantry was reorganized with the help of United Way, Paulding Ministerial Association and Kiwanis Club. It was relocated to its current location with the help of local Boy Scouts, as well as volunteers, auxiliary and staff of the Paulding County Hospital.

Today, it is operated through the efforts of a staff executive director, a Board of Directors, volunteers and donations from the community. Its purpose is to provide food and assistance to the citizens of Paulding County who experience food insecurity. Currently, the pantry is located at 119 South Main Street and can be reached at (419) 399-9562. Its hours are 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday and Saturday. The pantry is a not-for-profit organization as defined under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Caring & Sharing Food Pantry typically serves 250 – 350 households per year with and average of three people per household. Until May 2021, it provided those households three days of food every 30 days, and now it allows clients to receive food up to two times per month. That totals approximately 25,200 days of food for people in Paulding County in a year.

The current pantry space is rented from the Paulding County Carnegie Library and is considered a temporary location. While this space has served the county well, it limits the scope of services and client experience because it wasn’t designed to be appropriately.

The pantry is a member of the West Ohio Food Bank, which is the largest food distribution system in West Ohio coordinating, collecting, warehousing and distributing food. The West Ohio Food Bank secures donations from national food and grocery manufacturers, retailers, shippers, packers and growers and from government agencies, individuals and other organizations. They in turn distribute food and grocery items, ensuring the safe storage and reliable distribution of goods to local food pantries and meal programs that served over 5 million meals to children, families, seniors and other groups at risk of hunger.

The pantry’s Board of Directors consists of Alice Lawson, President; Laurie Barnes, Vice President; Rita Diaz, Secretary; and Marge Schlatter, Treasurer. Its Executive Director is Jodi Schneider

For more information, follow the Caring & Sharing Food Pantry on Facebook. To contact, the pantry call (419) 399-9562 or email pauldingfoodpantry@gmail.com.