The Ashville Food Pantry was organized in 1983

by the Ashville Ministerial Association. 


Below is an article found in the Circleville Herald on February 24, 2004


Ashville Food Pantry feeds a need

Area needy, hungry find a helping hand

By JANET BLUCK For The Herald

Kathryn "Katy" Dum is the coordinator for the Ashville Food Pantry.

She has volunteered her time since former Lutheran Pastor David Koch retired from serving in that capacity in 1990.

Dum, a senior citizen, helped with the food pantry during the time Pastor Koch and his wife Inga manned the food center.

The Kochs were avid newspaper coupon-clippers using them to do their grocery shopping. They enjoyed saving money by clipping coupons so much they considered "coupon clipping" to be a hobby. They donated many of their "bargain grocery finds" to the food pantry. A room in the former church parsonage was made into a storage room to house food stuff. Shelves were added along with other storage containers to insure safety and cleanliness of the products, Dum said.

The food pantry is housed in what was originally the parsonage of First English Lutheran Church. The former parsonage is located beside and north of the church on Long Street in Ashville.

The food pantry is in its 21st year of continuous operation. It was organized in 1983 by the Ashville Ministerial Association when they realized a need for the service in and around the Ashville community.

Pastor of First English Lutheran Church is Pastor Grace Werzinske.

Her office is in the same building as the food pantry and she telephones Dum to come to the center if someone comes in needing help.

Normally, referrals are made through Pickaway County Community Action (PICCA), pastors, and the school system.

"I'll continue to serve in the capacity of coordinator of the food pantry as long as the good Lord gives me strength to do it," Mrs. Dum said.

She said she likes to help people and being busy also helps to keep her mind off of herself.

In 2003, the food pantry provided assistance to 81 families, representing 129 children, Dum said.

The food pantry receives donations from local area churches, organizations within the churches, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, local businesses, Ashville Elementary School and Middle School as well as from many individuals

Local board members and their respective churches are: First Baptist Church, Christine Lemley; First English Lutheran Church, Pastor Grace Werzinske and coordinator, Katy Dum with Carol Ramsay serving as treasurer; Hedges Chapel United Methodist Church, Alice Woolever, secretary; St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Betty Valentine; St. Paul Lutheran Church, Mary Bumgarner; South Bloomfield United Methodist Church, Phyllis Lee; Village United Methodist Church, Boyd Oliver; and Zion United Methodist Church represented by Betty Cline. Board members meet three times a year.

Because of an increase in food prices at the grocery store food stamps do not go as far, Dum said.

There have been heads of households laid off from work and people unable to find work. If they don't qualify for food stamps and need food then PICCA will refer them to the food pantry, according to Dum.

Depending on the number of children, the individual is given , two or three grocery bags full of food.

Staples included in the bags are peanut butter, spaghetti, canned vegetables, canned fruit, tuna fish, and cereal.

A local farm market donates apples and potatoes in the fall season.

Large boxes of detergent, sugar, flour, hot chocolate and coffee, as well as toilet tissue are purchased and divided into smaller portions for distribution.

There is a limit placed on how often the same people can be served, Dum said.

Frequently there is a need for assistance with utilities especially heating fuel or electricity in the winter. Occasionally there is a need to help with medication costs. Once in a while a stranded motorist is unable to continue their journey so they are given a few gallons of gasoline so they can continue on their way, Dum said.

Over the holiday season, names to receive food baskets are given to the board members from PICCA. The Kiwanis organization helps fill the food baskets along with other volunteers.

The families are called to let them know that the baskets are ready to be picked up. Dum said that Kathryn Petty, a representative from St. Paul Lutheran Church came for many years to help out at the food pantry to fill bags of groceries for those in need.

Volunteers are always welcome, Dum said. Any questions should be directed to the PICCA office at 740-477-1655.

Dum lives in Ashville and is the widow of Emerson Dum,

They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few months prior to his death in 1996.

The Dums have two daughters Karen Darby lives in Springfield, 111. and Rebecca Chambers a London resident.

Dum is the grandmother of four. She was nominated for the Jefferson Award in 2003 for her volunteer efforts.

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