History of God’s Storehouse
God’s Storehouse began as a result of Hunger Awareness Day in 1987 by a group of local pastors who met at Averett University. They decided that funds used for individual food pantries could be better spent by pooling funds to better serve those in need. By pooling funds this new ministry would eliminate the need for multiple pantries at various locations by providing one central location.
God’s Storehouse opened it doors for the first time during Thanksgiving week of 1987, a time of celebrating our abundance. The original site of God’s Storehouse was on Wooding Ave. But it didn’t take long before the ministry began to grow and the need for more space became paramount. On August 11, 1997, God’s Storehouse opened its next location on Westover Dr., which later expanded thanks to a generous grant from UPS.
Today the original discussion of a few concerned local clergy has mushroomed into a full-blown community effort. More than a hundred local congregations and numerous civic groups, as well as schools, businesses, and individuals give their time and money to support God’s Storehouse.
Bright Future Ahead
Over the years God’s Storehouse continued to see a dramatic increase in the demand for services and once again our ministry began to outgrow its space. In February of 2010 God’s Storehouse purchased the old Danville Chrysler building at 750 Memorial Drive. In order to retire the debt on the renovations to the Memorial Drive building the Storehouse needed to raise an additional $375,000.00. As of April 2016, the debt on the new building has been retired.
The new location is a 16,000 sq. ft. level structure. The increase in space has streamlined the process of serving clients. The layout provides more privacy for new client intake and a separate waiting area. In addition, a completely separate food distribution area reduces congestion.
The increase in warehouse space has helped in our ability to stock a wide variety of food at a low cost. For instance, we can purchase food at a reduced cost from a food wholesaler; however in order to receive the biggest discount we must purchase at least 12-15 pallets at a time.
The extra space has allowed us to expand our existing services. Part of the new space is dedicated to an instructional kitchen where a Program Assistant from the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office will teach our clients. The lessons will include practical tips for stretching your food dollar and cooking healthier meals. Clients will learn basic cooking skills and creative ways to make their food last longer. Making sure our clients have food is only part of our mission at God’s Storehouse. Many of our clients suffer from health problems linked with poor diet such as diabetes, hypertension, and childhood obesity. The instructional kitchen will provide the space for our clients to gain firsthand knowledge of healthier cooking habits to combat diet related health problems.