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First United Methodist Church reopens food pantry after January fire

The food pantry that feeds around 200 families a month is now located down the street at First Christian Church.

IONIA, Mich. — Those who attend First United Methodist Church in Ionia are going to services at  the Log Cabin Inn in Muir.

The fire that damaged the church in Ionia on Jan. 5 also took away the churches food pantry.

Now, they're renewing their efforts to feed monthly meals to more than 200 Ionia County families.

Deb Hall, Director of the Zion United Methodist Church Food Pantry, said they lost about a third to a half of the food they had stored.

"A lot of our people really need us," said Hall. "In fact, the week or two that we were closed, I was praying for the people that we serve because I know a lot of them, you know, don't have much money."

Looking for a new place to put it all while they get things sorted out, one of their church neighbors, First Christian Church in Ionia, lent them a helping hand.

"The pastor from First Christian Church here, came to us and said that his board had told him to offer us anything that we needed help with," said Hall. "I think the next day or so I messaged him and said, know have any place to put a food pantry? And so they offered us the space."

In support of the food pantry, Jefferson Middle School will be holding a food drive starting Monday. Hall said kids will be bringing in food all week for what's being called the Super Bowl Food Drive.

If you're interested in donating to the pantry, Hall said she's at the Pantry at First Christian Church in Ionia on Wednesday's from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. they're also accepting financial donations to help make improvements. 

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