HICKSVILLE — Christ’s Cupboard has served as a food pantry in Hicksville dating back to 1975, when Grace United Methodist Church opened it to help those in its congregation. Over time, more churches in the village became involved, and the pantry was open to everyone to minister to needs.

Over the years, the pantry has resided in different locations in Hicksville, with its current location taking up two storefronts at 127-129 E. High St. Pastor Bob Knapp, executive director and chairman of the board of Christ’s Cupboard, has been involved with the ministry since 1983.

Following the donation of the former Yoder Restaurant from Terry Hart to Christ’s Cupboard in April of 2020, a fundraising campaign has been underway to renovate the building so the food pantry can move from its current location, to the former restaurant located at 121 E. High St. According to Knapp, once repairs are made and the food pantry is relocated, the space at 127-129 E. High St., will be transformed into a furniture bank.

“We’ve been at our current location since 2008, when Pastor Steve Eicher of Hicksville Mennonite Church, made the space available to us,” said Knapp. “He was running the Treasure Chest at 129 E. High St., so we moved into that space after spending five years at Community Memorial Hospital. As time went on, we kept borrowing his space at 127 E. High St., and it got to the point where we were just renting both spaces for the pantry.

“Our hope in moving from our current location to the new space, is we will be able to house everything in the new location,” continued Knapp about the pantries which are open on Fridays. “It is really two food pantries, the main one is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and the other is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It’s going to take some work, but I think we can definitely pull it off.”

Knapp explained the roof of the former restaurant was repaired last summer, with help from realtor Sam Switzer, whose business shares a roof with the building. Meanwhile, Knapp is in the process of having the building evaluated to see how much repairs will cost before it can be transformed into the pantry.

Christ’s Cupboard is currently taking donations to assist in those repairs. Donations can be dropped off at the pantry, or sent to P.O. Box 323, Hicksville, OH, 43526. In addition, a gofundme page can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/renovation-for-christs-cupboard-our-food-bank.

“We are going to do the right things for the right reasons,” said Knapp, who stepped away from leading Hicksville Church of the Nazarene full-time in April. “People have asked me about the food we share, and we always use the same guideline, ‘Is this something you would put on your plate?’ If not, I’m not going to share it with our clients. We do what is right in order to share the love of Christ with our clients.

“What I like about how this food pantry is handled, we have the outlook that as churches, we do this together to minister to people because in that way you demonstrate God’s love,” added Knapp. “We’re not in this to insult our clients, we’re in this to show Christ’s love. Once our clients are shown Christ’s love, it gives us the opportunity to share God’s word, too.”

Although Knapp doesn’t have a timetable as to when the food pantry will move to its new location, and a furniture bank can be opened at the old locations, he did share that renovating the space will be done in a way that doesn’t break the bank.

“We’re not going to spend a ton of money, we want to renovate it in a way that’s practical and makes the building safe and functional,” said Knapp. “It’s not going to be gaudy, or anything of that nature. This is the first place where we won’t have to pay rent or a mortgage, which will help us serve others better.

“When we move out from our current location, that will allow us to bring a furniture bank to town in that location,” continued Knapp. “We want to run that so that we can pick up and deliver furniture, and appliances, to clients, and help with set-up. Everything we do is about serving people, and when you do it right, you feel God’s love and so do they. Again, our focus is on doing what we do for the right reasons.”

For more information about Christ’s Cupboard, the current fundraising efforts, or for more general information, contact Knapp at 419-487-1324.

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