The Xenia FISH Pantry is an all volunteer, non-profit organization supported by the community, serving the emergency food needs of Greene County.
FISH is an acronym for ‘Friends In Service of Humanity.’
Founded in England in 1948, FISH is an international movement to aid the needy with old-fashioned goodwill and Christian concern. FISH groups sprang to life worldwide whenever and wherever the need arose.
The Greene County FISH Pantry in Xenia, Ohio, is a non-profit organization supported by the community, serving the food insecure in Greene County.
The pantry started in 1976 in an Episcopal Church after the 1974 F5 tornado hit the Xenia area. Many people in our community were still trying to rebuild their lives from the aftermath. They needed food assistance to ease the strain.
The pantry remained in the Episcopal Church until 1993 when it moved to the County Services building on Ledbetter Road. The County fostered the pantry in that location until 2019.
A driving force for the pantry was Peg Cannon, who never gave up trying to help those in need of food.
When Peg retired in 2013, Bob Bosl took over as President, and Dan Frevert took over as Operations Manager. During this time, the pantry started using computers to register our clients for food assistance. Our computers help us gather useful demographic information and calculate statistics. Some examples are the number of adults, children, and seniors we serve and how many are with disabilities, employed/unemployed, and are housed/homeless. This information helps us develop strategic plans for the pantry’s success in the community.
In 2017, Gail Matson took over as President. By the autumn of 2018, we’d grown into a full-choice pantry with the assistance of the Dayton Foodbank. The pantry purchased much-needed coolers and freezers to offer more choices of fresh produce, dairy products, and meat.
In March 2019, the County informed the pantry that they needed our space for the Bureau of Elections, and we’d have to move. This news could have been difficult, but the truth was that the pantry had outgrown the space! The County offered an alternate space on Cincinnati Avenue, which boasted three times the pantry’s space at its Ledbetter Road location.
Getting the new building ready was challenging; it needed a lot of work to make it food safe. We received a Community Block Grant, which covered cleaning the building and getting all new doors and windows. We also received generous donations of a walk-in refrigerator, freezer, air conditioning units, and a paved parking lot. With our donors’ and volunteers’ hard work and support, we moved into the new building at 774 Cincinnati Avenue in May 2019.