UPDATE: On March 23, SixFourteen Church canceled its drive-through dinner scheduled for March 26 due to the stay-home order in place in Ohio. The church plans to reschedule dinner once the stay-home order has been lifted.
Brookfield United Methodist Church has had a food pantry for years, “but we really didn’t advertise it,” said Pastor Dick Smith.
Now, they are.
In fact, BUMC, SixFourteen Church and Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church are working together to help the community get food and personal care items, by holding regular hours where people can come in and pick up what they need.
BUMC and SixFourteen are working out how to deliver food and other items, such as prescriptions, to people who don’t have transportation, are sick or are shut in.
SixFourteen Church, 1382 Broadway Ave., will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for its food pantry. BUMC , 6951 Grove St., will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and noon to 3 p.m. Thursdays. Those days were chosen, because Brookfield Local School District is making lunches available to students on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday.
Mount Olive, 8148 Ulp St., will be open from 10 a.m. to noon the third Saturday of the month, its regular pantry hours.
SixFourteen also is holding a free takeout dinner that will last from 5 p.m. to “whenever the food runs out” on March 26. Diners are instructed to go to the parking lot on the Bedford Road side of the church and someone will take their order and bring back the food, said Pastor Jared Woodward.
“We wanted to do something unique,” he said of the dinner. “We wanted to ease the burden of having to cook for a night. We want to bless people that way.”
The meal will be hot, although the menu has not been settled on, Woodward said.
BUMC is changing its fundraising spaghetti dinner from dine-in to takeout only on March 21. The dinner runs from 3:30 to 7 p.m. and costs $9 for adults and $4.50 for kids 12 and under. The money supports the food pantry and other church outreach activities.
BUMC and SixFourteen traditionally have used the pantries in emergencies, but organizers felt the coronavirus and the resulting government orders closing businesses and limiting gatherings and encouraging social distancing have made food availability a community-wide problem.
“With everything that’s going on, we wanted to create an opportunity for people to get what they need, if they fall behind,” Woodward said.
Smith said he is buying food from Second Harvest, the area’s supplier of food pantries, and some items will be free. The church also accepts items and money donated to it, and from Belly Buster Sub Shop, 6949 Warren Sharon Road, which offers a discount to customers who bring in a food item for donation to the pantry.
Once the pantry is up and running, BUMC likely will have a food drive, Smith said, although items can be dropped off at the church between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.
Woodward said items can be left at the church entrance, even if no one is there.