Beth Taylor has been fighting an uphill battle since August when she was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer.
Thanks to Nightingales Harvest, a nonprofit food bank for cancer families, Mrs. Taylor can devote her energy to getting well, instead of worrying about her family's next meal.
Mrs. Taylor, her husband Dan, 2-year-old daughter Lillian, and about 200 others attended the standing-room only event Sunday celebrating the ribbon-cutting of the remodeled food bank. There was also an awards ceremony to recognize all of those who have contributed to its success.
The Perrsyburg resident had a tumor removed and now must take medications and get an MRI every three months to check for more cancer.
“It's huge that I don't have to be concerned about going shopping,” Mrs. Taylor said, adding that she gets most of the basics from the pantry including canned goods, macaroni and cheese, and cereal.
Mr. Taylor said the volunteers at the pantry have helped him when he was shopping and didn't know what his wife, who has dealt with bouts of nausea, might like.
Located at St. James Lutheran Church, 4727 Sylvania Ave., the food bank has served more than 400 families since it was founded in May, 2011, by Lisa Kronbach-Eisenbach of Toledo.
It is dedicated to the memory of Kim Mardini-Channer. Mrs. Kronbach-Eisenbach started the food and toiletry pantry when she was supporting Mrs. Channer, who was fighting stage four colon cancer. She died two days after the food pantry's first anniversary, but her legacy lives on, Mrs. Kronbach-Eisenbach said.
“Kim's motto was PACE, which stands for 'positive attitude changes everything',” Mrs. Kronbach-Eisenbach said. “And that's the motto of the food bank. If you don't ask, the answer will always be no.”
Those recognized during the event included a representative from Meijer Corp., which presented Mrs. Kronbach-Eisenbach with an $800 check. The grocery story selects a different community food bank each quarter and invites customers to donate to them. Gordon Food Service was also recognized for the food it has donated.
Those who helped with the remodeling were also recognized and included Modern Builders Supply, 3500 Phillips Ave., which donated and installed cabinetry. The counters were given by Surface Enterprises, 1465 W Alexis Rd., and the tiles on the backsplash were created and presented by the Copper Moon Studio, 8007 Airport Hwy. Dr. Timothy C. Kasunic of the Toledo Clinic, 4235 Secor Rd., who was Mrs. Channer's oncologist, contributed the refrigerators for the new pantry.
While the event celebrated the re-opening of the pantry, the services never stopped, even during the most intense part of the remodeling which displaced all of the food into the church's hallways, said Pastor Robin Ramos of St. James Lutheran Church.
She said the food bank had reinvigorated the congregation, despite the loss of Mrs. Channer, who attended the church with her family. “We are just thrilled with the partnership and everyone who has made this possible,” Pastor Ramos said.
The church will host two upcoming events to benefit the pantry. From 1 to 5 p.m. March 23, “Cans For Cash” invites anyone to drop off their aluminum beverage cans which will be recycled. Starting when that event ends and continuing all night for 24 hours is “Stop and Drop,” a food drive which invites anyone to drive by and drop off any food items they would like to donate.
For more information on receiving help from the food pantry or to make a donation, call 419-725-1190 or 419-779-2961.