The ministry of helping others in need has never been more apparent than at Journey's End Ministries in Newcomerstown.
In 2012, a total of 54,700 individuals were assisted with their food needs by Journey's End Ministries. In doing so, they brought in more than 909,000 pounds of food. Those statistics make Journey's End Ministries the second largest food pantry in an eight-county area.
Besides getting food items from the Akron/Canton Regional Food Bank, they also rely on local suppliers, Caito Foods and Express Packaging, for certain items.
"We are about keeping our costs down," said Director Janet Gore.
Donations are always accepted and through the end of April, a portion of every $1 donated is matched by the Feinstein Challenge program.
"This way it will give you a bigger bang for your buck," she said. "This is our biggest fundraiser of the year."
Journey's End Ministries serves income-eligible individuals within a 10-mile radius of Newcomerstown. Gore said 50 percent are Newcomerstown residents, 25 percent come from the West Lafayette area, 20 percent are from the Kimbolton/Guernsey areas, and 5 percent come from the Port Washington area. In all, they have some 1,100 clients.
On an average day, approximately 120 individuals go through the facility for food or clothing needs. Gore said they broke a record one day with 213 people going through the facility.
In 2012, Journey's End Ministries gave out some 200,000 items of clothing and miscellaneous items free of charge. Gore said anyone can come and shop the clothing racks, it is not dependent on income eligibility. Clean clothing and miscellaneous items (no large items like furniture or mattresses) can be dropped off on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 to 11 a.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m.
The food pantry and clothing side of the facility would not be possible without the 65 volunteers from 10 area churches that help.
"I enjoy it here," volunteer Gloria Ellis said. "We are here to help."
Volunteer Linda Rochester said there is so much fresh produce at the food pantry that it really helps with the nutritional needs of their clients.
Not only are their nutritional needs met but so are their spiritual and emotional.
Each morning before they open, volunteers offer a morning prayer service and many of the day's clients join in.
"We believe in prayer and how prayer changes things," Gore said.
Journey's End Ministries, which opened in 1999 in the basement of the Newcomerstown Church of the Nazarene, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m.
Journey's End Ministries is located at 205 River St., Newcomerstown, and may be reached by calling 498-5772.
"It's amazing that this community is so generous," Gore said. "We know that this is God's plan."