St. John's planning to continue to serve community after closing food pantry

The pantry will be closing at the end of March after serving thousands in Greater Lafayette for nearly 30 years.

Posted: Mar 13, 2019 6:36 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - St. John's food pantry will be closing after serving thousands in Greater Lafayette for nearly 30 years.

Deciding to close St. John's food pantry was difficult for members like Rector Bradley Pace.

"It is a hard thing to close the pantry because the pantry has been such an identity, part of St. John's identity for so long,” said Pace.

According to Food Pantry Director Katy Travis, church leaders have had previous discussions about the pantry's fate.

"They spent several years and the last couple of months really discerning where they wanted to take their sharing ministries and what they wanted to do with that,” said Travis.

A large factor in the decision was due to limited volunteers during operating hours. But Pace says its work with the community will still continue.

"Our intentions are to work more closely with other organizations. With Lafayette Urban Ministries, with Food Finders, Lafayette Transitional Housing. Do work with them to continue to address these issues,” said Pace.

2018 alone saw the pantry give out nearly 154 thousand pounds of food to around nine-thousand people.

"I'm really grateful for the work of all those volunteers. I'm grateful for the clients who've given us an opportunity to serve,” said Pace.

The move allows the church to expand to new ministries while working with existing organizations.

While the church plans to expand, Food Finders CEO Katy Bunder believes the changes will be felt.

"It'll be great for the organization that get some of their volunteers, but it won't have the collective impact from the community that the food pantry has had,” said Bunder.

The food pantry located on 6th and Ferry Streets will officially close March 30th. A celebration will be held Saturday, March 23rd before the pantry closes.

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