Soup kitchen expands community service, fellowship

·2 min read

Apr. 28—LIMA — It has been serving residents in need since 1993 as a soup kitchen, and on Friday, Christian Corner Community Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its new food pantry, a resource those at the center hope will be of even greater benefit to their patrons.

While the center, located at 1601 McClain Rd., has given out boxed groceries and essentials as part of its soup kitchen outreach, having a food pantry on-site as well as donated clothing will help visitors obtain the items their families need.

"Every pantry gives out chickpeas, and very few people know how to work with chickpeas, for instance," Christian Corner director Sandaly Henderson said. "So instead of chickpeas, they could choose, say green beans. It will make people want to come more."

The pantry, started in late February, is a collaboration between the center and the Allen County Public Health Creating Healthy Communities Program, Activate Allen County, the West Ohio Food Bank, the City of Lima, the Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association and Peacemakers, a group consisting of members from area churches that work to help promote peace in the community.

Henderson hopes that as the services at the center grow, more community members will see it as a destination not just for a hot meal, but for other activities that can enhance their quality of life, such as a workout program from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and a Sunday luncheon for families from noon to 4 p.m. weekly.

"The building is also available for rentals, like repasts or graduation dinners," Henderson said.

Mark Dieringer has been a volunteer at Christian Corner for a couple of years, he said, and it has been a truly rewarding experience for him.

"If one wants to live out their Christian faith, they need to get out and do some good works," he said. "This is a great place to serve the poor and serve the hungry. So many of these people just want you to sit down and talk with them and pray with them, and I get more out of the experience than they ever do.

Meals are served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and clothing is available on Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information, contact Christian Corner at 419-222-4425.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0391 or on Twitter @cmkelly419.