Free monthly meals coming to Leesburg


Mary Bailey says a passage in the Bible instructing God’s servant to “feed my children” has been stuck in her head for so long that she has decided to do something about it. So, on Saturday, Feb. 11 a new food pantry called Let’s Eat will open on a monthly basis at the Leesburg United Methodist Church.

“I just want to help the people that really need it,” said Bailey, a Leesburg native who now lives in Hillsboro and attends the Leesburg Wesleyan Church. “Leesburg is a little village and the older people and the young kids are my main concern. But I’m not turning away anybody. I don’t care who comes. I’ll feed ‘em until I run out of food.”

Hot meals will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second Saturday of each month at the church located at 117 Church St., Leesburg. Meals will be available to eat at the church or carry out, and delivery will be available for shut-ins in the immediate Leesburg area.

Bailey said she has past experience feeding large numbers of people from when she worked at Highland County Community Action’s Senior Nutrition Site in Greenfield. She also said she has worked with other food pantries.

Most of the food Let’s Eat has collected so far came from Bill and Linda Bowman with New Life Church and Ministries located on SR 247, just south of Hillsboro. But Bailey said she’s also getting help from Wade Hamilton at Samaritan Outreach Services in Hillsboro and another food pantry in Leesburg that serves meals on the fourth Saturday of each month.

What Bailey needs now is volunteers to help when the meals are served. She said that currently she has just herself and a daughter to run the pantry.

She said Let’s Eat will have door prizes to give away the first couple months. Anyone that would like to donate more door prizes, things like disposable cups or plates, or help in any way can contact Bailey at 937-403-5436.

Eventually, she said, she’d like to see all the churches in the Leesburg get involved in one way or another.

“I just want to help people,” Bailey said. “It’s all falling into place and I feel like it’s something I have to do. I just feel like it’s something the Lord is leading me to do.”

The meals will be open to anyone and will be free. But Bailey said the pantry will take donations.

“I just want to get this started. My heart is in it,” Bailey said. “I feel there is a need there and I can’t wait to do it.”

Anyone wanting more information can also call Jeannie at 937-661-6139 or the Leesburg United Methodist Church at 937-780-9381.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.

Let’s Eat will serve for first time on Feb. 11

By Jeff Gilliland

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