By Kimberly Pistone
For the Sidney Daily News
SIDNEY – Shelby County Veteran Services Food Pantry is a new non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans in need.
The food pantry began in 2018, based on an idea by Chris North, executive director of Shelby County Veteran Services. Over the last five years, however, the food pantry has run into some difficulties receiving donations because the pantry was not initially set up as a non-profit organization. Six months ago North began the process to create the 501c3 in order to have non-profit status. Now the Shelby County Veteran Services Food Pantry can receive tax deductible donations from both businesses and individuals.
Since this is a new non-profit organization, their greatest need is finances. Currently funds are limited, but the board anticipates that once people are aware of this new non-profit, donations will come in and they will be able to provide more services.
Anna Nagel, vice president of the board, said, “It’s our goal to help with more than just food.”
The vision statement for the Shelby County Veteran Services Food Pantry is “to ensure no veteran or veteran’s family will ever go without food and /or the necessities needed for an acceptable standard of living.”
“We want to make sure no vet goes into despair,” said board member Harry Noah. Any veteran in need can call Veteran Services where help can be coordinated, including help from the food pantry.
Around 35-40 veterans are helped each month by the food pantry, and as the Shelby County Veteran Services Food Pantry grows, they expect to be able to help more veterans and veteran families.
Right now, the Shelby County Veteran Services Food Pantry is in need of monetary donations for essentials such as food and personal hygiene items and also for an additional upright freezer, especially with a recent donation of ground beef from a local farmer. North will coordinate donations in relation to purchasing a second freezer.
Chad Gessler, president of the board for the Shelby County Veteran Services Food Pantry, wants to thank donors and those also considering a donation. Anyone interested in making donations can reach out to Veterans Services and note that donations are for the Pantry.
The Shelby County Veteran Services Food Pantry is located at the Monumental Building, 133 S. Ohio Ave., and can be reached at 937-498-7283.