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Pantry has served for 30 years

The Beverly-Waterford Food Pantry has been serving Watertown and Waterford Township for almost 30 years.

The food pantry is housed in the basement of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Beverly and is open from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 to 11 a.m. second and fourth Thursdays of the month.

“(The church is) wonderful to us,” said Jo Teters, director. “We couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for them. They are so gracious and so kind. We’re blessed to be in the basement of the church.”

The pantry averages 40 households a month, although their numbers are down right now, she said.

“I’ve noticed a lot of other pantries are down as well,” she explained. She believes it is because of the unemployment benefits and stimulus money people received.

“It totally baffled me when they went down because I was waiting for them to go up,” she said.

Like most area food pantries, they get the bulk of theirs from the Logan Food Bank. Until recently, they never used pre-packed boxes until they started receiving them from Logan. They also started having drive-up services.

“We have a really good system in line right now for dealing with social distancing for as long as this goes on,” Teters said.

Along with staples such as mac and cheese, spaghetti, canned vegetables and fruit, and peanut butter, they try to have a variety of extras.

“We try to keep cookies, snacks, just something to break up the usual foods we have here,” Teters said. “We usually try to keep pancake mix and syrup, but we go through a lot of cookies.”

She said they receive donations from businesses and people in the community.

“This community takes care of us so well,” she said. “I can’t thank them enough for their donations.”

Deb Patrick, who lives in Jackson Township in Noble County, has volunteered at the pantry for a couple of years.

“The second Tuesday is my day,” she said.

She volunteers because it’s a service need and people get used to volunteering on the same day.

“I think people are used to coming in on the same day. I see several of the same people every time,” Patrick noted. “I think they get comfortable with people working there.”

She said there is a variety of people who serve the food pantry.

“I’m the intake person at the computer,” Patrick said. “We have some that fill the orders. Those 40 households might equal 110 family members.”

It is part of her duties to ask clients if they still fall within the income guidelines set by the Logan Food Bank.

“The people we see fall well within those guidelines,” she said. “This is a time of need, that’s for sure. We all have things we can give.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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