MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Area Food Pantry, Third and Market streets, sponsored by the Mount Carmel Area Ecumenical Ministerium, will hold a public open house from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The food pantry was started in the mid-1990s by the Rev. Michael Shaub, then-pastor of First United Methodist Church Carmel. It was first located at St. Paul's United Methodist Church on Hickory Street and then relocated to a back storage room in the old Mount Carmel Area Elementary School.

As time moved on and the pantry began to serve a larger number of the community, there was a need for a larger space. The pantry was then relocated to St. Stephen's Center on Fourth Street in Mount Carmel.

As the need continued to grow, the pantry was once again relocated to larger facilities at the rear of First Congregational United Church of Christ, Third and Market Streets where it is currently housed.

The food pantry is open from 6 to 7 p.m. on first Thursday of the month and from 11 a.m. to noon on the third Thursday to serve the needs of the community. Volunteers and contributions are always welcome.

The food pantry is under the direction of an independent board comprised of members of the Mount Carmel Area community. It currently provides food to approximately 100 families in the community on a monthly basis. This food is entirely donated by area churches, businesses and community members. The pantry does not receive any monetary government assistance or food, its existence depends on local contributions only.