Love-In-Action food pantry serves community for three decades

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
Dave Larson, left, and Wayne Miller help volunteer at the Love-In-Action food pantry at the Chillicothe 
Assembly of God Church. The food pantry recently had its 100,000th person walk through its doors.

Celebrating its 30th year helping feed families, the Love-In-Action food pantry had its 100,000th person walk through its doors.

The food pantry, located at 422 W. Truitt Ave., helps those in need each Friday. People travel from parts of Peoria, Marshall and Stark counties for the assistance.

The 100,000 person was given a $100 gift card to Kroger.

One face that is seen there on a regular basis is the Rev. Ed Dutton. He might be chatting with a volunteer or making those in line laugh with a quick joke or two.

Dutton has been with the church for 31 years. Love-In-Action was started in 1984.

“I read the Bible. You know, you read the Bible and you’re obligated to do something. Jesus said worship and serve,” Dutton said.

“This is where the Lord put us. We used to do clothes and food, but after about 20 years we said we can’t do both.”

Now serving over 100,000 people, Dutton doesn’t look at the numbers too much and is more concerned about helping those in need.

“We have enough and the Lord provides. We’re never without food,” Dutton said. “Our philosophy is, we have it, you get it. If we have a lot, you get a lot. If you don’t get as much, then maybe we didn’t have as much that week. We don’t hoard it.”

The food pantry serves on average about 85-100 people a week and spent about $15,000 on food alone last year, Dutton said.

The money came from donations from the community to help keep it running.

Love-In-Action also gets help from around the area and at large.

Kroger assists with some of the items, as well as the federal government and some is donated.

“About a month ago we had a big drive from Northwoods Community Church. They brought over about 3,300 pounds of food (of the Sept. 20 drive),” Dutton said.

The church helps out once a year.

The Chillicothe children’s based organization OWLS, Olivia’s Warm Love Service, is collecting canned goods for Love-In-Action and other pantries for its second year.

Bins are located around the community. Residents also are asked to donate a canned good at the Nov. 22 Christmas parade.

With the holiday season approaching, Love-In-Action will help residents have a turkey dinner. Dutton said the turkeys are provided by a lady who makes about a $1,500 donation. The money is delivered to Kroger and those at the food pantry can receive gift certificates for the turkeys.

At Christmas time, the pantry doesn’t do anything specific, Dutton said, but will help with the Community Needs Agency Christmas Baskets.