SCIOTOVILLE — The Potter’s House Ministries, 5409 Winchester Avenue in Sciotoville, received a visit Thursday from Kurt Reiber, President and CEO of the Freestore Food Bank.
The Potter’s House Ministries, a non-profit 501c3 organization, which serves many struggling local families, has three paid staff members and 25 volunteers, and three of the volunteers are with Mature services. Reiber said the purpose of his visit is to encourage volunteerism for the efforts of helping the hungry.
“The nature of the visit basically, is we are working here with Potters House to engage volunteerism, but also really trying to get awareness of the vision of hunger in the communities that we serve,” Reiber said. “The Freestore Food Banks serves 20 counties in three states.”
Reiber said Scioto County is among the areas affected the most by hunger.
“Scioto County is probably one of the areas that is hit hardest because of the economy,” Reiber said. “So it is important for us to continue to raise awareness of the issue that one in six in our neighbors are dealing with hunger, and one in four children are being ravaged by hunger in the communities that we’re serving. Hunger doesn’t take a holiday, and doesn’t take a zipcode, so we’re here to really raise awareness and hopefully get people the food that they need to survive.”
Erika Stepp, of Americorp Vista who helps to coordinate the food pantry at the Potter’s House, said
“Reaching out to helping our community as it relates to hunger is what we really work hard at doing,” Stepp said. “We just seek to help as many as we can. The people come in, and usually have to have a Social Security card for everyone in the home, and then they fill out a sheet that shows how much they bring, and how much is going out.”
Through there are a few requirements to receive food from Potter’s House Ministries, Stepp confirmed that no one seeking help is ever turned away.
When asked by The Daily Times what the community can do to help the cause of hunger, Reiber said volunteering time is extremely important.
“There’s a lot of things that they can do. First and foremost is financial contributions to Potters House, and the work that is being done here,” Reiber said. “But also volunteering. When you think about it, there’s only 24 hours in the day, and seven days in a week, so the staff here is just doing an outstanding job for the front line of hunger. What we really want to do is make sure that people are volunteering, what we do with all of the pantries that we support is neighbors helping neighbors. “
Mistakenly, some believe that a hungry person is some they do not know, Reiber said.
“A lot of people think that hunger is a nameless, faceless person that they don’t know, as far as on the other side of the tracks,” Reiber said. “The folks that we see are going to the same schools that our children are going to, and going to the same places of worship. So in trying to bring hunger to the forefront and letting you know that it is not some nameless, faceless individual. It is a neighbor next door to you. It is a neighbor right down the street from you. Someone in line with you at the supermarket.”
Potters House recently opened a new extension office to expand their ability to help the community which officially opened on Oct. 6, 2016.
“We have opened a new extension office located at the former Women’s Clinic down on Market Street inside of the Senior Center. Stepp said. “This office is going to be our satellite office down there, where we going to be able to take the HEAP appointments, SSI, SSDI appointments, those types of things and open enrollment. We are also working on getting a mobile pantry down there. It is not set in stone as of yet, but we are hoping as of next year we will be able to start at least a mobile pantry down there. Right now there are not very many appointments down there, but we are just getting the word out.”
Hours of operation for the Potter’s House Ministries consist of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on the fourth Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Potter’s House Ministries satellite office is opened Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information call 740-776-4004, or visit the website: www.jesusthenazarene.com
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.
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