SIDNEY — The Agape Food Pantry serving Sidney and Shelby County residents is getting a little extra help these days.
As the Ohio National Guard continues to assist the West Ohio Food Bank, several members of the National Guard were on site at the AGAPE Food Pantry, 209 Brooklyn Ave. in Sidney, Wednesday, April 1, and will be back on Thursday, April 2, during their distribution hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
John Geissler, Agape Distribution director, said the National Guard’s assistance has been a godsend.
“It’s been amazing having their help,” said Geissler. “They’ve been doing the shopping and packing the carts.”
Geissler said three guardsmen have also been delivering the carts of food to clients who are have parked their vehicles curbside waiting on their food.
“The curbside delivery has gone swimmingly,” said Geissler.
He said the distribution center has seen an increase in requests for food.
“From March 31 to April 1, our requests doubled,” said Geissler. “Part of it is the fact it’s the beginning of the month and our regular shoppers can come back. They receive 10 days worth of food, which includes lots of bread and bananas.”
Geissler said a store canceled its order of bananas and Agape was called and asked if they would like the bananas.
“We’re been giving them out by the caseload,” said Geissler. “Ninety skids of the bananas went to West Ohio Food Bank. We’ve been putting them out by the box outside out building. We’d rather see someone take them than they go to waste.”
Shelby County residents who are below the national poverty level are encouraged to seek assistance, and should not feel concerned that Ohio National Guard troops are in the area. They are here to help during this COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are making it hard for people to go hungry in Shelby County,” said Geissler. “We know good health starts with good nutrition.”