First Baptist member Kim Runkle has undertaken an effort to create a “personal needs” pantry for those in need of personal hygiene items.
“The items that we chose were the items that food pantries don't carry or things that SNAP, or food stamps benefits, don't buy," says Runkle. "So, that would be paper products. Things like toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, soaps, shampoos, laundry detergent, any type of household cleaning supply or personal hygiene supply."
Runkle says it started after a conversation around Christmas time last year. She says the church adopts several families through a program called “The Giving Tree” and the congregation received a number of positive comments about the number of personal and household supplies that were given.
“It was something unusual," says Runkle. "It was something they couldn't get from any other type of agency and it was helpful to them. Out of that conversation we decided this, perhaps, was an ongoing need in the community and we spoke with Salvation Army. They agreed and we moved forward."
Runkle says the pantry opened in May. She says most recipients receive referrals to the pantry from The Salvation Army.
Runkle says church members supplied nearly all of the items in the pantry in the beginning. Since then, donations have been coming in from the community but the congregation is still very much involved.
Runkle says the pantry served 55 families last year.