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Tis the season to give to others: Parma Postings

By Mark Holan, Sun News 
on December 14, 2013 at 9:17 AM, updated December 14, 2013 at 9:25 AM


This is the time of year when everyone should be thinking about those who are less fortunate than themselves. It could be a friend, a distant relative or a complete stranger. There are many people in need of a phone call or a card to let them know you’re thinking about them and wishing them well.

Tina Wells, of Independence, has been doing her part to make things a little better for low-income seniors and house-bound residents in the Sun Post coverage area. She and her husband deliver bags of groceries as part of the volunteer force of the All Faiths Pantry.

Founded by Parma resident John Visnauskas in 2006, the AFP is the only Cleveland area food pantry that delivers food to the needy.

Visnauskas and Business Manager Jeff Fowler and their staff of volunteers have been working particularly hard this holiday season, making sure that the pantry’s shelves are empty. That is, the food is out there and in the hands of those who need it.

Fowler likes to use the inclusive term “inter-religious” to describe the AFP, as opposed to “non-denominational.”

“Other food pantries refer clients to us,” Fowler said. “It’s the best of both worlds. Our volunteer delivery people get to know the people after a while. It’s not just three days’ worth of food stuffs.”

The AFP serves clients in Parma, Parma Heights, Brooklyn, Brook Park, Berea, North Royalton, Middleburg Heights and the Cleveland neighborhoods of Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre. The Cleveland Food Bank supplies the AFP, as it does the 750 agencies in six counties with emergency hunger centers.

The AFP is headquartered in a small office building at the corner of Dawning and State Road in Old Brooklyn, and Visnauskas, a former jeweler, presides over the everyday activities of the AFP like some perpetually cheerful elf.

If you’d like to lend a hand to alleviate your neighbor’s burden during this holiday season and beyond, visit the AFP online at allfaithspantry.org.

More Information – Don’t forget to send in your organization’s upcoming meetings and events (bake sales, raffles, fundraisers, etc.) to me at marklholan@yahoo.com.

Link to article:http://www.cleveland.com/parma/index.ssf/2013/12/tis_the_season_to_give_to_othe.html

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