For most of the past 50 years, Dublin Community Church has been home to a food pantry. However, he hopes to open new doors soon.
DUBLIN, Ohio — It’s easy for many of us to feel small from time to time.
Where Denise Youngstedt-Parrish stands inside Dublin Food Pantry; the tiny beginnings of what started it all.
“This little room was a pantry,” she said, standing in the small room.
For most of the past 50 years, the pantry has been housed in Dublin Community Church. For the past four years, Youngstedt-Parrish, the pantry’s executive director, knows the community’s needs are growing faster than available space.
“When I started here, when we served 24 families, it was a normal night,” she said. “We now serve 98 families.”
It’s easy to feel small in tight spaces. Something to do with Youngstedt Parish, known by the nickname “Dinky”.
“The day I was born, my father said, ‘Oh my God, what a tiny baby,'” she said. “I was called Dinky for the rest of my life.”
“Dinky” says that the need for storage has increased by 208% in four years. In past years, she said, the pantry served 18,000 people. In 2022, it served 32,000 people. It’s not always something that comes to mind when people think of Dublin. She says the reason for this is twofold; First, people are still recovering from COVID, especially when supplemental SNAP benefits expired earlier in the month.
The second reason, she says, is housing.
“We think it has to do with housing,” she said. “Not being able to find housing, and then the cost of housing.”
She says more families are opting out of poverty in Dublin because parents still want to take advantage of the local school system for their children.
The pantry recently purchased a new building with donor funds from a capital company for $1.6 million. The goal is to raise $3 million for renovations and day-to-day operations. Dinky hopes to be in the new building in six months.
Dinkey says the city of Dublin was the first to support the new building, donating $375,000. The pantry has currently raised about $2 million.