Almina Smock, Foundress of St. Paul's Pantry, started her ministry out of her home. She recognized a young family in her home parish was struggling to put food on the table. Almina made it her mission to love, support and care for this family with the help of local friends and neighbors. It all started with one woman's passion. Service above self continues to be the heartbeat of WARM forty plus years later as we serve those in need who live within the Westerville City School District.
St. Paul's Pantry
In 1972 volunteers from St. Paul’s Catholic Church founded a food pantry, originally known as Paul’s Pantry. Families in need received food, clothing and emergency financial assistance through the efforts of these dedicated volunteers who began the work of WARM.
In the 1980s, several other Westerville churches decided to collaborate to Paul’s Pantry, rather than have each church work individually toward the same goal – eradicate hunger in our community. At this time, the Westerville Area Ministerial Association (WAMA) adopted this project.
175 East Broadway
In 1996 St. Paul’s Pantry transitions to Westerville Area Resource Ministry, located at 175 East Broadway Avenue in Westerville, Ohio. The 7,000 square foot house served as a place of hope to our neighbors in most need for eighteen years.
Fast forward to 2001, the year WARM obtained 501(c)(3) nonprofit status as a faith-based social service organization. Today, WARM serves the 52 square miles of the Westerville City School District – where approximately 88,000 people call home.
150 Heatherdown Drive
Within just a few short years WARM’s little house tucked behind uptown Westerville reached full capacity and the time came to search for a new home.
WARM’s new building is six times the size of its former location on East Broadway Avenue.
More than 300 volunteers provided all the labor for the move. Warehouse space in the new building is astounding.
After more than 850 hours of work by more than 300 volunteers, Westerville Area Resource Ministry is finally settling in nicely at 150 Heatherdown Drive. The upgrade from about 6,300 square feet to more than 40,000 square feet has revolutionized the work of WARM.
WARM provides assistance to individuals in the Westerville area who are living at 200% or below the federal poverty guidelines. In addition to providing food and limited financial assistance to families in need, WARM offers a number of programs such as a jobs assistance program designed to assist individuals on the road to economic recovery (WORK Initiative). Our services provide individuals with the tools necessary to promote family stability, improved self-esteem and increased self-sufficiency.
By providing “a hand up, not a hand-out” through quality programs and services, we facilitate positive change while restoring dignity and hope to make a difference in the life of each individual we serve.