BLADENSBURG -- Residents in the southeastern corner of Knox County will soon have access to a food pantry and other social services in the former Bladensburg Elementary School.
Interchurch Social Services (ISS) of Knox County, Inc., with support from the Knox County Health Department (KCHD), is opening a satellite office in the former school which is now known as the Bladensburg Community Center. ISS will provide services to income-eligible resident including a food pantry and financial aid for assistance with rent, utility disconnects, health maintenance prescriptions, and out-of-county medical appointments.
The community center will also include a small thrift shop, open to the public. Proceeds from the thrift shop will help support the community center.
A grand opening will be held at the new community center on May 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Executive Chef Paul Higgins will be on hand to share recipes and provide food samples. Nurses from KCHD will offer free blood pressure screenings and blood glucose checks. Adult vaccines for influenza, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and tDap will also be available. Knox County Mobility Manager Susie Simpson will be on hand to discuss transportation needs and solutions.
Beginning May 20, the Bladensburg ISS site will be open the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 10 a.m. to noon and the second and fourth Thursdays each month from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Members of the Get Healthy Knox County coalition and volunteers with Knox County Merit Court helped prepare the site for opening day. Funding from the Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) grant were used to purchase paint supplies and shelving as well as provide a computer.
Improving access to healthy affordable foods is one of the coalition’s goals. The CHC grant which is administered by KCHD, supports programs that make “the healthy choice the easy choice.”
ISS has provided emergency assistance and a Christian presence to thousands in need in Knox County for over 50 years. ISS also operates sites in Mount Vernon, Fredericktown, Danville and Centerburg. In addition to pantry services and financial aid, ISS can provide clothing and Christmas assistance. Other services include Kiwanis “Coats for Kids” distribution point, AEP’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor assistance, The Ohio Benefit Bank, and program information and referral.
For more information, contact Joy Harris, ISS executive director, at 740-397-4825.