Local food pantry asking for community support ahead of crucial public meeting

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With God’s Grace, a Dayton food pantry that serves hundreds of people each Wednesday is still fighting to keep its doors open.

There’s a public meeting next Tuesday that could determine the fate of With God’s Grace.

“We have seen so many homeless people. We have seen families struggling with small children. We have seen the elderly come in here. They just can not make it. If we are gone. I don’t know how they would survive,” said Shyrl Arwood a volunteer at With God’s Grace.

There’s always a line out the door at 622 Springfield Street each Wednesday.

That could all change if the City of Dayton re-zones the warehouse.

“With God’s Grace is in a high area for drugs. A high area for homelessness and a high area for food insecurity,” said Nicole Adkins the Executive Director of With God’s Grace.

On February 20th, the Dayton Land Use Board will make a recommendation to the zoning board of appeals regarding With God’s Grace.

The City of Dayton wants to rezone the food storage facility to a church or community center.

Adkins says the building would need substantial upgrades and she claims that won’t be easy or affordable.

“We need to be able to come to this meeting and be able to support With God’s Grace. Let them know we need this pantry at 622 Springfield Street,” said Adkins.

By noon on Wednesday, more than 300 people had been served. The pantry closes around 8:00pm.

The City of Dayton has been working with the pantry, making With God’s Grace direct patrons to park in a nearby field and changing the entry way to keep people from the cold.

The Land Use Meeting at Kiser School on Leo Street starts at 6:00pm on the 20th and is open to the public.

Adkins hopes to have an army of supporters.

“It makes me feel threatened that this might go away and hurt my family. I depend on this getting us through the week,” said one patron.

“If we don’t get that variance. We will not be in business to help the community,” said Arwood.

The recommendation by the Land Use Board will be presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals on the 27th.

If you can’t make the public meeting on the 20th, email your comments via email to connie.nisonger@daytonohio.gov

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