Jul 29, 2012

Fish and Next Step open at new location on Aug. 1

GREENVILLE – Beginning Aug. 1, Next Step Ministries, an outreach of EUM, and Fish Choice Pantry, an ecumenical organization, will have a new home, 400 Markwith Ave., Greenville. According to Kristy Cutarelli, the new location will help the organizations better serve persons in need by offering a more effective use of space.

The warehouse space has been vacant for several years and volunteers are feverishly working to clean up the facility, construct walls and build shelving before the Aug. 1 deadline.

According to Vic French, of Fish Choice Pantry, the organization has seen a 26-percent increase in the number of people needing assistance in the first six months of this year. Add to that a 21-percent increase in the cost of food and it’s not hard to figure out how great of a need there is in Darke County. Cutarelli pointed out summer is always a slow time for donations and they questioned whether or not they were going to make it. Donations from organizations like Eldora Speedway who recently gave 1,200-pounds of food from its food drive during Prelude to a Dream, go a long way in bridging the gap from the beginning of the year until the pantry holds its Feed Darke County Food Drive in September and October. Whirlpool and GTI also hold food drives once or twice a year and help offset the slow donation periods. The organization is also able to offer perishable food items through the Samaritan House and Wal-mart’s Feed America program.

Fish Choice Pantry has been serving in Darke County for almost 50 years. Although it has undergone several transformations while helping neighbors in need, the organization has narrowed its scope to providing the Fish Choice Pantry. The pantry is appropriately named because it allows individuals and families to choose the type of foods they want from the pantry’s shelves.

Next Step Ministries encompasses anywhere from 12 to 15 outreach ministries depending on the time of year. Some of these ministries include the Ohio Benefit Bank, Summer Food Service, Meals to Go, Emergency Response Ministry, Mat Ministry, NextStep Helpers, Soup Kitchen, Paws for Jesus, and Community Construction. Office space is being built inside the new location to allow them to continue with their mission of improving lives and building relationships with others and Christ. Next Step wants to fulfill its mission by meeting the physical, social and spiritual needs in the community.

Fish Choice Pantry and Next Step Ministries will still be available to persons during the transition at its current location, 501 Gray Ave., Greenville.

Fish Choice Pantry is open Mondays, 1-2 p.m., Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m., and Fridays, 6-7 p.m. Clients are served every 28 days. For more information on Fish Choice Pantry or Next Step Ministries, call 916-6033 or 916-6044.
Doug Bickley and Vic French, volunteers, are helping with construction while Kristy Cutarelli supervises. 


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