Written by: Ed Grable, Go Local Director
If there is one thing I have learned in my short time as the Go Local Director, our community here in Findlay is very giving and generous. So, it would be natural to believe that all the needs of those in need are met and that the organization that serves them has abundant resources to help those who knock on their door looking for help in times of desperation and despair. But sadly, that is not the case. Many of these organizations focusing on those struggling are struggling to meet the needs, which have increased exponentially over this last year.
One of those organizations is one of our long-time partners here at Gateway Church. CHOPIN Hall was started by twelve area churches in 1982 to provide food, clothing, and personal care items to people in need. Their name is an acronym for Christians Helping Other People In Need. They are currently supported by over forty area churches and funded by these churches, individuals, businesses, and foundations. They have worked out of The Family Center since May of 2006. CHOPIN Hall is volunteer lead and volunteer-driven. Volunteers make their mission happen. Ron Rooker is their full-time Director who leads them.
CHOPIN Hall is the largest Food Pantry in Hancock County. In 2022, CHOPIN Hall distributed approximately 800,000 pounds of food. This provided around 900 meals a day. All services provided by CHOPIN Hall in 2022 saved their clients $1,430,000. In 2023, they are experiencing a 37% increase in family visits for food and an increase of 28% for clothing. They have seen a 16% increase in families visiting our Mobile Food Pantries. So far, in 2023, they have averaged 1215 monthly family visits, including Mobiles. In addition to the Hall being open, they hold Mobile Food Distribution 2-3 per month. We distribute approximately 10,000 lbs. of food at each Mobile Food Distribution. Approximately 50% of our food is donated by Federal and State, University of Findlay “helping hands”, Boy Scout Drive, Aldi’s, and Van Buren Elementary. Approximately 50% is purchased from West Ohio Food Bank, Great Scot, Aldi’s, and local grocery stores.
In addition to food, CHOPIN Hall distributes clothing and personal care items. They feature or distribute items like laundry detergent, dish soap, and hygiene kits monthly. All of their clothing is donated. They purchase kids’ socks, kids’ underwear, and diapers. They are grateful for your support and ask you to continue to do so through your financial donations and canned food drives. Some current needs are canned fruit, soup, peanut butter, jelly, and canned meats. Donations of gently used clothing are currently being accepted, with the specific need being fall clothing and bedding. Donations of personal hygiene products are welcome as well. You are also invited to volunteer at their distribution center or during one of their many community events. Thank you for your support and always partnering with CHOPIN Hall during their quarterly Mobile Food Pantries. We are privileged to partner with an organization that genuinely cares about the people they serve and is exhibiting what it looks like to be the hands and feet of Jesus. If you want to learn more or volunteer, visit their website.