First Grace United Church of Christ


  Serving the Highland Square Area and the Near West Side of Akron, Ohio   

People's Choice Food Pantry

A Word About Our Relationship With

The Akron Canton Food Bank

1.  We appreciate the partnership we have had.  We would not have gotten this far without their help.  Our Breakfast and AMOS Childcare ministries will continue to utilize Food Bank items.

2.  Some of the food products are free.  We were appreciative of the many fruits, vegetables and bread products we could bring from the Food Bank to our pantry.  However, most of the food provided by the Food Bank comes with a charge -- either a handling fee or a purchase price which makes the Akron Canton Food Bank a discount grocer.

3.  The items the Food Bank considers to be "free" are in large part cookies, candy, chips, crackers and cola.  For those items there is an eighteen cent per pound handling fee.  The more meal oriented items require a purchase which runs much higher (tuna @ 75 cents, vegetables @ 50 cents, cereal @ $1.50).

4.  The purchases made for our People's Choice Food Pantry cost $20,000 last year -- all of which went to the Akron Canton Food Bank.  The Safety Net which government officials like to refer to as being the churches which will help the people they are kicking off Food Stamps, etc. has been torn.  We are simply  one of many churches who have come, or will come to, this realization.

We are still processing the problem.  Clearly, there is significant cost to groups who see their mission as being one of serving the hungry.  Few people realize that there is a charge for much of the food coming from the Food Bank.  For the Food Bank, the increasing need, the growing cost and the inability to provide meaningful supplies of protein foods are mounting obstacles. 

We believe that we are not done.  When the disciples came to Jesus complaining that there were too many people and that they needed to be fed, Jesus turned their exclamation back on them saying, "You feed them".  We still hear Jesus saying that to us.