A local food pantry was among the area nonprofits that received a monetary gift just in time for the holidays.

A local food pantry was among the area nonprofits that received a monetary gift just in time for the holidays.

On Dec. 20, the Grove City Food Pantry received a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation at a check presentation ceremony held at the the Westside Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry.

"Grants like this are what keep us going," said Grove City Food Pantry President Don Swogger. "The need is growing."

Swogger said the money would be used as part of the organization's operating fund. In the past year, the pantry has given out about $300,000 worth of food and $30,000 worth of emergency financial assistance. In all, the pantry serves about 250 families a month.

"We're small compared to some of these other companies," said Grove City Pantry Vice President Gene Cline. "To us, this is a big grant."

Also at the event was Mitch Hall, manager of the Walmart Distribution Center in Grove City.

"We do multiple things with the Grove City Food Pantry," he said.

That includes maintaining a garden and donating 1,000 pounds of vegetables directly to the pantry. The distribution center also donates a number of food and personal hygiene items to the pantry and other area organizations

The Grove City Food Pantry was one of a number nonprofit organizations in Ohio to receive a combined $745,000 from the Walmart Foundation on Dec. 20.

"It's a special day today," said David Gose, Walmart's regional manager for southern Ohio. "We're trying to have an impact of on people's lives so they can be better. ... It's a commitment."

Other central Ohio groups to receive Walmart Foundation grants were:

* Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio received $100,000 to support healthier foods and healthier finances programs.

* Faith Mission Inc. received $50,000 to support its healthier foods program.

* Maryhaven accepted $25,000 to support the Women's Career Empowerment Center.

Organizations in other Ohio cities -- Cleveland, Sidney, Toledo and Nelsonville -- also received grants from the Walmart Foundation. In addition, two statewide organizations -- the National Society to Prevent Blindness of Ohio and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks -- received grants of $45,000 and $100,000 respectively.