Big changes are in store for Lutheran Social Services food pantries

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A big change is coming to the Lutheran Social Services food pantries across Ohio.

The food pantries feed close to 25,000 families in the state. Last week, the west Columbus food pantry closed, and others will follow – but they’re now going digital.

Ella Moody does all her grocery shopping at the Lutheran Social Services Champion Avenue food pantry on the in south Columbus.

“I come truly for the produce and they give it to you in abundance,” Moody said.

In two weeks, Moody and the rest of the folks here won’t be perusing the aisles with a cart. Instead, they’ll be typing a shopper ID and pin number into their phone and ordering groceries online.

Moody says she is unsure of how shopping online for her groceries will work, but she is sure of one thing.

“It will cut out a lot of the overhead and the waiting in the rain,” Moody said.

She is right about that. For the first time on Monday, Lutheran Social Services opened it distribution center at Dodge Community Center for online food pantry orders.

“We turned the online system on about a week ago, and in that time we had 62 families sign up to get food today,” Brad Draper, Director of Food Pantry Service, said.

Draper says going digital is away to become more efficient.

“How can we spend less on brick-and-mortar infrastructure and more on food,” Draper asked, explaining why this new approach is beneficial.

Zelda Osborne has been using the pantry’s services since 2005 and is excited about the changes.

“It is great. I love it,” Osborne said. “As long as they are here, I’ll be here every month”

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