Church food pantry offers counseling
By BOB COUPLAND
HOWLAND — The monthly food pantry at Bolindale Christian Church, 2749 Fairview SE, will add faith-based recovery information, services and counseling.
Bob Burns, a community chaplain with Turning Point 180 Ministry, will offer information 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at the food pantry.
Food pantry organizer Chuck Mackey indicated the counselor was added to raise awareness to those who may be fighting an addiction or need someone to speak with.
”Anyone coming to the food pantry can also receive one-on-one mentoring and counseling,” Burns said.
Burns said statistics show millions of Americans are dealing with some form of life-controlling addiction, including drugs, alcohol, food, anger, gambling, pornography, medication, and others. He said short-term, faith-based, nonresidential recovery and educational services can help individuals, families, and groups.
He said the strategy to help people is the Word of God and working together to be part of the recovery process.
Event organizers said unhealthy behaviors and decisions hurts individuals, families and communities. Burns said the mission is to reach those lost and hurting, restore relationships and help enhance individuals’ roles in a family.
The food pantry itself was a vision years in the making. Township officials working with the church said they wanted to help low-income families who were finding it hard to make ends meet and did not have enough food to eat at home.
Grant money from the Ohio Department of Health made its way to the food pantry through the Trumbull County Health Department. Second Harvest Food Bank has provided food to the pantry
Those seeking assistance have to meet certain income requirements and show identification. The pantry will be open 4 to 6 p.m. every second and fourth Wednesday of the month.