Fremont Elks Lodge #169 Work to Help Fight Hunger

The Sandusky County Food Pantry received a donation of $2,000 from Fremont Elks Lodge #169 to help meet the growing challenge of providing assistance to the community’s needy.

A check was presented to officials of the food pantry by Mike Sanchez, Exalted Ruler of the local Elks lodge. This is the ninth consecutive year that the Elks have made that size donation to the food pantry.

Fremont Elks Exalted Ruler Mike Sanchez, center left, presents a check for $2,000 to Jim Faist, treasurer of the Sandusky County Food Pantry. Others in the picture are, from left, Elks Trustee Mike Kelly, Roy and Marty Wilhelm of the food pantry, and Elks trustees Rick Frank and Billie Lee.

Fremont Elks Exalted Ruler Mike Sanchez, center left, presents a check for $2,000 to Jim Faist, treasurer of the Sandusky County Food Pantry. Others in the picture are, from left, Elks Trustee Mike Kelly, Roy and Marty Wilhelm of the food pantry, and Elks trustees Rick Frank and Billie Lee.

The volunteer-run facility provides assistance to county residents who have been pre-screened and referred to them by the county’s Department of Family Services or Health Department, or by a local church. The food pantry, which has been in operation since 1977, relies solely on food and monetary donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. It provides food equivalent to 200,000 meals annually to needy individuals and families.

Roy Wilhelm, the food pantry’s president, said the Elks’ donation is particularly useful this year because a large local business recently redirected its ongoing charitable efforts, resulting in a sizeable drop in the food pantry’s income.

“We very much appreciate the Elks Club’s continuing support of our food pantry,” Wilhelm said. “Many people in the community may not realize what a gap we’re able to help fill for so many people who are less fortunate or temporarily down on their luck. We provide food for close to 1,000 people a month.

“The Elks Club is a great partner in our efforts.”

Funds for the Elks donation were obtained by the local lodge through a Beacon Grant issued by the Elks National Foundation, the charitable arm of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, which has 850,000 members in more than 2,000 lodges across the country. The Fremont lodge was one of only 50 local Elks lodges in the nation to qualify for the grant.

The Sandusky County Food Pantry is located at 129 Bidwell Ave., just behind Sandusky County Share & Care Center, a thrift shop for the needy. The food pantry is open Monday through Friday from noon to 2:30 p.m. Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation can drop it off or mail it to the food pantry. For more information, call 419-334-8158