Monthly Greenfield pantry provides hygiene products to people in need

  • Jason Beamon at his computer at the Greenfield Alliance Church on Chapman Street. Since February, the church has been holding a monthly pantry offering products not typically covered by food assistance programs. Staff File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 9/16/2021 7:21:10 PM

GREENFIELD — Since February, the Greenfield Alliance Church on Chapman Street has been holding a monthly pantry offering products not typically covered by food assistance programs.

On the third Saturday of each month, anyone in the community is invited to the Basin and Towel Drive-Thru Pantry at 385 Chapman St., offering hygiene products such as body wash and bars of soap, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and washcloths.

“We had been trying to think of doing an outreach ministry for the community,” said Jason Beamon, lead pastor at Greenfield Alliance Church. “A lot of times … I think the idea of doing a food pantry comes up … but there are a lot of those already, and they’re doing it well.”

Locally, there is the Center for Self-Reliance, Stone Soup Cafe — which provides weekly meals on Saturdays — and the Franklin County Community Meals Program, among others.

Beamon said he wanted to find a different way to serve the community, while also having the opportunity “to talk to people about Jesus and how God loves them.”

“We wanted to find a different way to serve the community but also give the gospel to them,” he explained. “This was an avenue to do that, while also pursuing what we felt like was a need … we saw in the community.”

Mary Traver, a deaconess at the church, said the number of people that come each month “varies greatly.”

“I think the most we’ve had is 16,” she said.

Although the pantry is open to anyone in need, the church’s target demographic is those who may be on assistance programs such as WIC (Women, Infants and Children) or EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer), she said.

Beamon explained the idea for the Basin and Towel Drive-Thru Pantry was inspired by a similar one at his father-in-law’s church in New Jersey.

“We had been thinking about doing an outreach ministry prior to the pandemic,” he said. “This came about at a convenient time, because it was a way to offer a service while also following social distancing guidelines.”

This ministry in particular worked out well during the pandemic, he added.

The items that are given away are a combination of donations to the church, and purchased by the church.

“We budgeted money last year for this year’s budget to build up a stock,” Beamon said.

Traver added that Franklin County’s YMCA has also contributed by holding a handful of donation drives.

The next Basin and Towel Drive-Thru Pantry is scheduled to take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18.

“It is open to anybody in the community who would be able to make use of this,” Beamon said.

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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