Pantry pride: Michigan church continues food distribution despite ‘devastating’ fire

WARREN, Mich. — Officials at a Michigan church vowed to continue distributing food after a fire destroyed a pantry over the weekend.

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More than $20,000 worth of food was destroyed on Sunday when flames engulfed the Harvest Time Christian Fellowship Church in Warren, the Macomb Daily reported. At 12:45 a.m. EDT, Warren firefighters responded to the blaze, the newspaper reported.

Police suspect arson in the fire, according to WDIV-TV.

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer told the Warren Weekly that an explosive device ignited the blaze.

“It’s very disturbing,” Dwyer told the newspaper. “The church was obviously helping those in need by providing food so they could live,” he said.

While church pastor Curtiss Ostosh called the loss “devastating,” he vowed to continue helping to feed people in need.

“We are not going to miss a beat,” Ostosh told the Daily. “I knew God would make sure that we could continue to move forward.”

Each month, the church gives out more than 75,000 pounds of food, the Warren Weekly reported.

“There’s kids that come to our church. Most pantries wouldn’t serve kids, right?” Ostosh told the newspaper. “It’s like, ‘Yikes, how do you tell a kid they can’t have some food?’”

Despite the fire, the church was able to serve 70 people on Tuesday, the Daily reported. Normally, the church serves up to 170 people during the two days it is open.

“We’ve gotten dozens of calls just today saying, ‘I hope this doesn’t kill our food pantry because we’d be really hard-pressed if you guys stopped doing what you do,’” Ostosh told the Warren Weekly. “We’re not going to stop. We’re not quitting. We’re not quitters.”

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