Tissues and paper towels may not be luxury items in your home, but folks who visit the Paper Pantry at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Petoskey, Mich., tell the volunteers that those items certainly are.
Two years ago, member Vicki Morgan realized that people aren't allowed to purchase basic paper and personal products with state food assistance. They were going without these items in order to put gas in their cars or fill prescriptions. So the church opened a pantry that twice a month provides families with toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap, paper towels, feminine products, shampoo and deodorant.
When the pantry first opened, 12 families received a bag full of the necessary items. Now about 85 families (70 repeat customers and 15 new) visit the pantry when it's open the second Thursday (5-7 p.m.) and fourth Thursday (9-11 a.m.) each month. That's 180 families and 800 family members who benefit each month.
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