MECHANICSBURG – Oasis of Mercy food pantry in Mechanicsburg has grown exponentially since its start six years ago.
Scott Spinner, president of the Oasis of Mercy board, credited this growth to the many individuals who volunteer their time to help those not only in Mechanicsburg, but also in five surrounding counties.
“Oasis of Mercy started off just serving Mechanicsburg,” said Spinner. “Our number one goal was to provide a solid foundation to those in Mechanicsburg but our long-term goal was to expand and serve different villages, cities and counties. Where our goals were and where we are now is amazing. Unfortunately, a need is there, but fortunately, our volunteers and organizations in multiple counties donate their time, money and resources to serve that need. It is incredible to see these people come together.”
Spinner said the pantry now serves Champaign, Clark, Madison, Union and Franklin counties.
“We started serving about 25 households and in 2020 we got up to 229 households,” said Spinner. “It is such a blessing and a joy.”
Spinner said Oasis of Mercy purchases most of its food from Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield at a very low cost. Every three months, they purchase roughly 2,700 pounds of food for about $250 total.
“It is unbelievable that as a food pantry, we are able to afford the food that we give to people because it is such a great value. That is why monetary donations go so far. We love volunteers, monetary donations, canned good donations … everything is wonderful,” Spinner said.
“There are multiple churches in the area that are involved,” Spinner added. “Leaders from the churches get involved to reach as many people as possible. It really is a wonderful way to minister to others.”
Oasis of Mercy, located at 40 Walnut St. in Mechanicsburg, is open on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Anyone who needs food has access to see different choices and choose what they need. Volunteers help give choices and offer fresh produce and perishable items such as meat and seafood.
To get involved, visit the Oasis of Mercy Facebook page. They are always looking for more volunteers.