PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio — The pandemic has forced thousands of Ohioans to turn to food pantries for help feeding their families. The Parma Heights Food Pantry is one of the agencies which has seen an increase in the number of people coming in for help.
Ann George started the Parma Heights Food Pantry 13 years ago.
She said she got the idea after hearing two women in the grocery store talking about running out of food by the end of the month.
“That really bothered me all day,” said George.
Within a few months, the Parma Heights Food Pantry was open for business. The pantry is a labor of love for George.
“I’m 86 years old, I’ve had three heart surgeries, I’m on my second pacemaker but I’m still here,” she said.
In 2019, the Parma Heights Food Pantry helped feed 3,849 families. George said not only is the need up but now they are seeing people from communities across the area, and that’s something they’ve never seen before.
George said one family took three buses to get there, and they had two small children with them — children who had not eaten all day.
The food pantry, which is in the business of helping others, now needs help itself —supplies are low and the need is high.
“Our bookkeeper comes in and shows me and said you better start praying,” said George. “We were really low, we had gotten down to one month's rent."
The call for help went out. The community, area churches and businesses are responding.
On Monday morning, the pantry got a $1,250 donation from an area car dealership.
“We really see that need in our community. We’ve been donating food but now we’re donating money,” said Michael Gleydura, Sales Manager of Metro Lexus.
George is grateful for the help they have received so far but said more donations, money and volunteers are always welcome.
If you would like to help or more information about the Parma Food Pantry call 440-842-6491. The pantry is open Monday 9:00am to noon, Wednesday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Thursday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
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