The United Methodist Open Door food pantry is getting ready for an expected uptick in demand that comes when the school year ends.
The pantry recently moved to a larger distribution center that’s more accessible.
The United Methodist Open Door Community Food Ministry raised $2.75 million to renovate a former Cessna training facility on East 21st Street in Wichita. Planning for the new pantry began about two years ago.
Development Director Jeremy Kindy says the food pantry distributes about 400 boxes of food each week to people in need. He says the new facility replaces two older buildings on Mosley north of 13th Street that the organization used for 30 years. Kindy says the buildings were well-worn and had ongoing maintenance issues.
"This new center puts us on the bus line," Kindy say. "The old center was not on that bus line, so this gives us a lot better accessibility for individuals that utilize our services here in the Wichita community."
Kindy says the pantry usually sees an increase in demand in May because families look for other food options when free meals provided during the school year end.
The Open Door pantry receives about 40 percent of its food donations from the Kansas Food Bank.
"We receive a lot of the goods that we distribute to folks through the Kansas Food Bank," Kindy says. "So they are a partner agency of ours. They are more of a distribution warehouse, and we are doing mainly frontline distribution to folks who are living at the poverty guideline and in need of that food."
The United Methodist Community Food Ministry uses monetary and food donations to provide the rest of the food needed each month. About 15-20 volunteers operate the food pantry.
Kindy says Open Door serves about 24,000 people each year.
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