Families in need struggle to get parking access to food pantry

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A local food pantry says it’s struggling. It’s not struggling with having enough food for families in need, but with access.

The food pantry’s executive director tells 2 NEWS a no parking sign was put up last week by their landlord. It threatens to tow anyone’s car that’s parked there.

3 times a month families in need come to the With God’s Grace food pantry to get food. Friday, some of the families skipped out because some have medical conditions that prevent them from parking and walking long distances. Others did so out of fear their car may be towed.

“We had many families who didn’t come today because they were afraid of getting towed,” Executive Director Nicole Adkins said. “It’s a hardship. Some of them today are going hungry.”

For the last 7 months, With God’s Grace Food Pantry has been operating out of a facility on Webster Street in Dayton. Distribution happens three times a month, by appointment only.

Adkins says things ran smoothly until a few weeks ago. That’s when cars at surrounding business starting parking diagonally, she says blocking access to the food pantry.

“I didn’t park in the parking lot,” Helen Shaw. “I was afraid to. We live on one income. One vehicle. And I couldn’t afford to have my car towed so I had to park across the street.”

Thursday, Adkins says she received this letter from her landlord establishing new parking regulations. No parking signs were also added this week.

Adkins believes this is a violation of her lease.

“It used to be common ground that anybody could park anywhere on the premise,” Adkins said. “Now, we are going down to two parking spots in the front and two spots in the back.”

“This Lease constitutes the entire agreement of the parties,” the lease states. “And cannot be modified or altered except in writing signed by Landlord and Tenant.”
“We have 3 [families] tonight that I know that canceled,” Adkins said. “That do not have food at home tonight.”


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