Building a Better CLE: Community Cupboard helps eliminate food insecurity in West Park and Kamm’s Corners

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 8:43 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Community Cupboard at West Park United Church of Christ serves hundreds of people in West Park and Kamm’s Corners.

Far too many families in these neighborhoods have to worry about feeding themselves and their families.

One in three people in Kamm’s Corners lives at or below the poverty level.

The organization works tirelessly to ease the worries of these people in need.

Sara Jovanovic, the pantry coordinator, said the pantry has grown from a tiny cupboard to a large room filled with food.

“They need that net to feel like, ‘okay, well at least my family won’t go hungry,’” Jovanovic said.

She said job loss during the pandemic increased the need immensely.

“You can’t go to a job interview if you’re starving and be on point and be your best if you’re thinking about how hungry you are,” Jovanovic said.

The challenge of food insecurity is personal for Jovanovic.

“I’ve got my kids food and then waited for them to finish eating so that I could have their leftovers, so that they would have enough food to grow,” Jovanovic said. “I know a lot of these people, that’s where they’re coming from.”

Jovanovic is grateful she and the volunteers are able to help serve around 5,000 meals per month.

While they’re able to feed so many people, it reminds them of how lucky some of us truly are.

“I don’t want to say it’s great that there are so many people in need, but it is great that we can serve them all,” Jovanovic said.

The pantry is open every second and third Saturday of the month at West Park United Church of Christ located at 3909 Rocky River Dr., Cleveland.

Community Cupboard gives families about two weeks’ worth of food each time.

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