PAULDING — St. Paul Lutheran Church in Paulding, has gifted a significant donation to help the Caring & Sharing Food Pantry kick-off its building fund campaign.

The church has made a donation of $12,875 to pay architect and planning costs needed to get the project started.

The pantry is building a new, permanent 3,900-square-foot building at 318 N. Walnut St. The new facility will include space for stock storage, client shopping, an office and new client enrichment space.

“In 2019, we identified the Caring & Sharing Food Pantry as our church’s main mission project,” said Pat Ross, church counsel president at the time. “We asked the pantry board what they worry about most, and they said outgrowing our current location. That was all we needed to hear.”

The church convened a community committee, including representatives from the pantry board, St. Paul’s, other churches, as well as local construction project experts.

Over the course of the next year, the group conceived a building footprint, assessed location options and inspired the future site of the Caring & Sharing Food Pantry.

“The people in our community who deal with food insecurity on a regular basis needed us to do more than just donate cans of food and toilet paper,” said Ellie Barnes a long-term member of St. Paul’s and pantry volunteer prior to the pandemic. “That out-of-the-box thinking is now coming to life.”

The estimated budget for the Caring & Sharing Food Pantry building project is $500,000 and the fundraising has only just begun.

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, OH, 45879.

St. Paul Lutheran Church is located at 601 Flatrock Drive in Paulding and is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The ELCA is a Christian church that believes its people are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbors: “With our hands we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities around the world.”

The Caring & Sharing Food Pantry serves the people of Paulding County and is committed to making food available to our neighbors through the gifts of the community and the support of the West Ohio Food Bank: “We are focused on eliminating the food insecurity of the people in Paulding County.”

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

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