Seward families have a new local resource to help them through tough times. A food pantry, operated by Seward Ministerial Association, opened its doors Dec. 20.
Located in a brown building just in front of the Air Force Rec Camp, the pantry does not have a sign up yet, but is marked with a lighted dove.
The project to bring about a food pantry in Seward was spearheaded by Pastor Hilmer Kiser of the Seward Christian Center and was nearly two years in the making.
“I just saw the need for it in our city,” Kiser explained, adding that several others felt the same way and got on board to see the project through.
Kiser said finding a permanent place to house the pantry was a major reason it took so long to open.
According to Kiser, the food pantry is currently funded through contributions from the city and monthly donations from SMA-member churches. He added that many local businesses and organizations have also made donations.
“Were trying to make it where its not a big burden to one person, but its a little burden to many,” Kiser said of the community effort.
The pantry, dubbed He Will Provide, is eligible for food at a reduced rate and also uses food donated by Safeway and Three Bears. The two local grocers also have placed large containers near their entrances where customers can drop off food items they wish to donate. The containers were donated by Spenard Builders Supply.
Kiser said the SMA also plans to apply for grants eventually, but must first prove the food pantry is an established organization.
Those who wish to use the food pantrys services must give their name and the number of people in their family. Staff will then supply food by weight to meet the familys needs for a week. People may use the food bank on a weekly basis for up to six weeks, with no eligibility requirements.
The pantry is not intended to be used as a grocery store, Kiser explained, but only as a temporary resource to see people through a time when money may be tight.
The food pantry is open Thursdays, 3-7 p.m., and can be reached at 224-6800.