2015-09-29 / Front Page

Garrard Chapel Church Dedicates Food Pantry Expansion Saturday In Memory Of Patricia ‘Pat’ Fender

by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer


An expansion of the Garrard Chapel Food Pantry was dedicated Saturday in memory of the late Patricia Fender. (Staff Photo) An expansion of the Garrard Chapel Food Pantry was dedicated Saturday in memory of the late Patricia Fender. (Staff Photo) The food pantry operated by Garrard Chapel Church has served the surrounding community well for the past several years, providing for hundreds each week thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers. Last Saturday, a formal dedication was held to celebrate the pantry’s new 2,000-square-foot expansion, dedicated in memory of Patricia Fender.

The plaque reads: In memory of Patricia (Pat) Fender, who was instrumental in encouraging Garrard Chapel to have a food pantry for our community.

The two new 26x40 additions include an additional walk-in cooler and freezer, and the space is already filled to the ceiling.

John Barker, pastor of the Garrard Chapel Church, said patrons are offered a variety of food from yogurt, bread, apples and oranges to lettuce, coconuts, and cheese. A variety of canned and fresh fruits and vegetables are available, along with meat, eggs, milk, butter, cereal, and more.


Pastor John Barker leads a tour of the newly expanded Garrard Chapel Food Pantry, located at 7364 State Road 46 West. (Staff Photo) Pastor John Barker leads a tour of the newly expanded Garrard Chapel Food Pantry, located at 7364 State Road 46 West. (Staff Photo) The pantry opens its doors every Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and on the second and third Thursday of each month, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 7364 State Road 46 West.

Posted beside the entrance is the pantry’s policy, a menu board listing the variety of food available that day, and family sizes.

“When they show up, we’ll give them a number and one family at a time goes through. A family can range from two to 15, so if you average a family at eight people, we run around 50 families through each week, so that’s 400 people,” Barker said. “They’ll come through and get a selection. We usually man it with between 12 and 15 church members and carry the items to their cars. We serve a lot of older folks and some disabled individuals. They’re given a variety of selections. We’ll carry out between eight to 10 plastic bags per family.”


Patricia Fender’s family gathered last Saturday for a formal dedication of the Garrard Chapel Food Pantry expansion, which was dedicated in her memory. Pictured are, left to right: husband Russell Fender, son Terry Fender, sister Linda Querry, mother Grace Hiter, granddaughter Isabella Wimsatt, daughter Michele Williams, granddaughter Catrinna Wimsatt, grandson Jonathan Fender, sister Charlene Pendleton, and sister Lisa Hiter-Kay. (Staff Photo) Patricia Fender’s family gathered last Saturday for a formal dedication of the Garrard Chapel Food Pantry expansion, which was dedicated in her memory. Pictured are, left to right: husband Russell Fender, son Terry Fender, sister Linda Querry, mother Grace Hiter, granddaughter Isabella Wimsatt, daughter Michele Williams, granddaughter Catrinna Wimsatt, grandson Jonathan Fender, sister Charlene Pendleton, and sister Lisa Hiter-Kay. (Staff Photo) The staff of 12 to 15 church members restocks the offerings four to six times during the two hour weekly distribution.

Barker said the pantry is just one of three in Owen County to receive government commodities, and receives ready-to-eat meals from Bloomington restaurants. Local families also contribute several dozen farm fresh eggs each week.


The new expansion of the Garrard Chapel Food Pantry provides more than 2,000 square feet of additional space to help further serve those in need. (Staff Photo) The new expansion of the Garrard Chapel Food Pantry provides more than 2,000 square feet of additional space to help further serve those in need. (Staff Photo) “At the end of the night, if (restaurants) have food left over, they’ll quick freeze it, bag it and bring it to us. We’ll tell them to heat it up one time, eat it and throw the rest away,” he explained. “A lot of the seniors like that, because it’s already been prepared.

“It takes a lot and it’s all church volunteers. We’re blessed to be able to do this. To a lot of folks it’s a big deal, because it’s really good, high quality food. We give a large portion to people, because we’re eight miles out (from Spencer) so for them to drive out here, you have to make it worthwhile. You don’t just give them a bag with two or three cans of something. Several have been constant customers for four to five years and we know them on a firstname basis, it’s almost like a big family. For several of them, this is the only church they get to know, the food pantry, but we’re blessed to have it and are thankful for it. Our church is truly blessed to be able to do what we do. I tell people to go where you see the Lord working.”

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