Grandmother's Cupboard Baby Pantry in Baldwin now open 

Grandmother's Cupboard Baby Pantry is now open. Pictured left to right at the pantry: Fr. Matt Barnum, director Lynne Mills and staff volunteers Jeannie Martin, Rose Dingman and Marianne Cooke.

Grandmother's Cupboard Baby Pantry is now open. Pictured left to right at the pantry: Fr. Matt Barnum, director Lynne Mills and staff volunteers Jeannie Martin, Rose Dingman and Marianne Cooke.

Star photo/Shanna Avery

BALDWIN — Expecting mothers in Lake County now have another resource available to them. 

At Grandmother’s Cupboard Baby Pantry at St. Ann Catholic Church, mothers will be able to find diapers, wipes, bottles, baby food, formula, baby shampoo, lotions, toys, baby clothes and more for their baby.  

The pantry will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Wednesday, the same hours as Bread of Life Pantry, on the church grounds at 1001 Michigan Ave. The pantry is located in the rectory, which can be entered from the 9th Street entrance on the south side of the church. 

A $10,000 grant from the Catholic Foundation of West Michigan Charities through the Diocese of Grand Rapids Bishop’s Angel Program was awarded to St. Ann Catholic Church for Father Matt Barnum to start a baby pantry. He named the pantry Grandmother’s Cupboard, because St. Ann, who the Catholic parish in Baldwin is named for, was the grandmother of Jesus.

“Opening a baby pantry at St. Ann’s Catholic Church was a dream I started mulling over almost as soon as I came to Lake County,” Barnum said. “We Catholics are 100 percent pro-life. Anything we can do to help an expecting mother in need to choose ‘life’ is incumbent upon us as disciples of Christ.”

Barnum asked Lynne Mills, director of Bread of Life Food Pantry, to also direct the baby pantry, with volunteers from the Catholic parishes helping to staff the baby pantry on Wednesdays. 

"Being involved with the Lake County Community Food Council helped me be able to reach out to our community to get this started, with Feeding America, the health department, the Children's Trust Fund. The Lord is making this happen. We thought it would mostly be diapers and wipes, but it is much more. No matter how hard things are or seem to be, we offer hope, a light in the darkness,” Mills said. "We want to remind people Seeds of Promise (located in the same building as Pompeii’s in Baldwin) also is open on Tuesdays, to help mothers.” 

Community groups also have been reaching out to support the pantry to supply needs for mothers. Lake County Habitat for Humanity is hosting a Christmas Tree Auction starting at noon Dec. 17, at Habitat for Humanity. Proceeds will go toward the baby pantry.