Food Pantry (photo credit  Earl53, 2007)

Food Pantry (photo credit Earl53, 2007)

Valentine’s Day is this week and romantic dinner plans are being hatched across the country. Some of us may even be planning that romantic evening for ourselves. Either way, during this season of love and gratitude, we should remember those less fortunate that aren’t sure about dinner plans tonight. Spreading unconditional love and service is the Athens County Food Pantry.

The Fight Against Hunger

The Pantry is a not-for-profit organization that operates completely by volunteers, donations, grants, fundraisers, and United Appeal. Opened in 1981 by a group of ministers and members from several local churches, the idea to collectively ease the burden of hunger for families throughout the county was formed. For the last 34 years, volunteers have made sure food is always available for people in need. If someone needs food assistance they can call the Foodline at 1-800-338-4484 or visit one of the distribution sites located at the Athens County Job and Family Services in Chauncey, Ohio or the Amesville Presbyterian Church.

People Helping People

We live in a country that has more than enough to go around, yet there are children that still go hungry. I’m sure we all can think back to a time when were pained with hunger. Rather it was a grumble in the middle of class or when fasting for routine blood work. Athens County Food Pantry has served 4,491 households in 2013. That translates to over 12,000 people! The beautiful truth is all of this is made possible by generous and loving community members and groups.

Let’s Get Involved

The Athens County Food Pantry is an amazing service that spreads unconditional love to thousands. If you are feeling grateful for all you have during this season of love and would like to share with people in need there are several ways you can offer your talents and time. Donations of non-perishable and non-expired food can be scheduled for drop off by calling 740-590-7051. Monetary donations can be sent to 9 N. College St. Athens, Oh 45710 Attn: Treasurer. On the other hand, if you are feeling like having fun while helping others you can organize your own food drive. Several fun ideas could be hosting a dinner party, school class competition, or an athletic team philanthropy project. Lastly, volunteering is a great way to get hands-on experience in understanding the unfortunate problem of hunger that plagues too many living in poverty today.

Pay It Forward

I want to leave you with a question. Now that you know there were thousands of people going hungry in a county near you, will you take the time out of your busy life to help feed one in your area? When we recognize pieces of ourselves in people, it becomes easier to love and accept them unconditionally. Everyone needs help sometimes and everyone can give help sometimes. While we’re planning our own romantic dinner this weekend, perhaps we could each make a romantic food basket for another less fortunate family to spread the love and gratitude a little further.


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