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Fairfield County Ohio and Lancaster assistance programs.

Everything from emergency grants to loans and cash aid can help the low income. Find help with paying energy bills, rent, heating costs, security deposits, a mortgage and other bills in Fairfield County. Churches, charities, and even the county government social services in Lancaster offer financial help for housing, utilities, nutritional needs and more.

Long term support is offered as well as free stuff too. Along with free credit counseling, free food, transportation, and free medical or dental care to struggling as well as low income families, there is seasonal help. This includes free back to school supplies, air conditioning programs, and even free Christmas gifts delivered by mail. Find details below.

Community Action resources for the Fairfield County region

Arguably the agency with the most extensive resources and services is the Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Program. Call them at (740) 653-4146. They offer low income, elderly, and other qualified individuals with numerous social services and assistance programs. The programs offered by the community action agency include:

  • Homelessness prevention program - While the funds are limited and money not be available year-round to those who need help, the housing/rent program provides rent, security deposit, heating and utility bill help and even some mortgage assistance. The program is focused helping those people who are facing foreclosure and eviction, and possible homelessness as a result of that.
  • Clothing - Receive new or gently used clothes. This includes winter gear as well. The clothing pantry is open year round. Find other free charitable clothing programs.
  • Heating and utility bill help - The first option is the Ohio Home Energy Assistant Program (HEAP), which has three main components. The first component is heating bill assistance which is offered during the winter heating season. Whether a qualified household needs help paying for heat for their gas, electric, firewood, heating oil, coal, propane, fuel oil or kerosene, this winter program can help.




  • Customers who receive their heating or utility services from Columbia Gas or AEP may also be referred for the Ohio Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). The last component of the utility/heating program is known as the Summer Crisis Program, which will assist low to moderate income households with residents with a qualifying medical condition, or it can help households with a member who is age 60 or older.
  • Food pantry - The Lancaster community action agency also provides emergency free food boxes. This includes groceries for single parents and holiday food boxes.
  • Community Action has information on Ohio workforce investment programs. These are federal government training and placement programs. Minorities, immigrants, the under or unemployed, people with no degress and others can gain skills and maybe find a local job.
  • Save on energy bills - Two options include the federal government weatherization program as well as the Warm Choice Program, which offers low-income Columbia Gas customers a thorough inspection of the house and heating equipment. Both of these programs may provide for the installation of energy conserving equipment and updates to the home.

  • Budgeting and financial literacy - Work with credit counselors and other professionals to learn how to save money, and pay off debts. Learn about credit scores, budgeting, debt collectors, how to negotiate bills, and mortgage foreclosure programs.

In addition to those programs run by the Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Program, several other resources may be provided, including referrals and more. Phone (740) 653-4146.





Get emergency financial assistance, food, and free basic needs mets

Canal Winchester Human Services, phone number (614) 834-3888, provides access to assistance programs to residents and families of the Canal Winchester School District. Some of the services provided include Emergency Assistance, Senior Transportation, Tools for Schools, Adopt-A-Family and also local Community Events.

The Fairfield County/Lancaster Salvation Army runs a program known as the Good Samaritan Center. This facility provides help for paying bills and expenses, such as rent costs, utility and heating bills, medical and more. They can also refer people to Ohio and federal government assistance programs. Also clients can gain access to support for various other activities. In addition, get access to social interaction and nursing services in a nurturing environment for both senior citizens and adults who need socialization, supervision and assistance during the day.

This center can also refer individuals to other local resources, including state of Ohio and federal government programs such as food stamps and LIHEAP. The Lancaster Ohio Salvation Army office also has an on site thrift store for the general public and can provide free Christmas assistance to the needy, in particular children from low income families. Or look into the free back to school supply giveaway service. Dial (740) 687-1921. Learn more on Salvation Army in Fairfield County Ohio.

Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action provides the low income with access to a food pantry and other social services. For example, receive applications to WIC, food stamps, and other government aid. Location is 1743 East Main Street, Lancaster, Ohio, phone 740.653.4146

Free community clinics, including health centers, offer care to the low income, adults, children, and uninsured. There are many in Ohio as well as the county. Check-ups, immunizations, eye exams, medications, and other support is given. Find Ohio free community clinics.

Lutheran Social Services, 2045 East Main Street, Lancaster, Ohio, dial (740) 653-2265. Some of what may be offered includes shelter, assistance for seniors, and a food bank for Fairfield County and more. Get information and referrals to emergency housing, rent, and heating bill programs too. More information on Lutheran Social Services in Fairfield County.

St. Vincent DePaul is located at 424 East Locust Street in Lancaster, Ohio. Call 740-653-6037 for intake. The charity, and its volunteers, can provide qualified low income residents with numerous assistance programs. They include meals, food, possible financial help for rent or energy bills, and medications. There is also a low cost thrift store. Learn more on SVDP in Fairfield County.

Short term housing and rent grants may be available. Several charities focus on addressing these housing issues. Both individuals as well as families or single moms/dads can get help. Whether it is a grant, legal aid, or placement into a shelter, find housing and emergency rental assistance in Fairfield County.

The Lighthouse can help women and children that were impacted by domestic violence. Receive referrals, housing assistance, and supportive services. Case managers can provide information on job training and federal government and state of Ohio programs. The non-profit supports Fairfield County. (740) 687-4423.





Free food and meals

If you are struggling to provide food or meals to your family, call Foundation Dinners. This non-profit charity agency provides support to the low income. They will have a free meal and food assistance program for needy families and individuals in Lancaster and the Fairfield County Ohio area. A hot, cooked meal is served at 4:30 p.m. every evening, even including weekends and holidays included. (740) 653-3233

Food pantries, soup kitchens and free food programs

Maywood Community Outreach is located at 1029 South Broad Street, Lancaster, Ohio. Call (740) 653-4458

Lancaster Vineyard Church, 423 West Wheeling (AGAPE Building), Lancaster, Ohio. Call (740) 689-8463 for distribution hours.

New Hope Assembly of God - Phone 740-687-3553

Victory Center: 221 Madison Avenue, dial 740-756-7434. This location has both food, groceries, and clothing, including Christmas and school assistance.

St. Peters Lutheran Church can provide clothing, linens, and blankets for the poor, homeless, and needy. Dial 740-653-1950.

Baltimore pantry is located at 1760 West Market Street, Baltimore, Ohio. Call 740-687-0500.

Calvary United Methodist Church, 124 Purvis Avenue, Bremen, Ohio, dial (740) 569-7249. Groceries, canned goods, application for government support and more may be available.

David’s United Church of Christ in Canal Winchester. Dial 614-470-2574.

Eagle Rock Church is located at 6810 Blacklick Eastern Road, Pickerington, Ohio. The walk in pantry is open limited hours.

Maple Street United Methodist Free Store sells gently used goods to the public. This can include winter coats, clothing, shoes, and similar goods. Household goods and maybe even furniture may be available as well. The location is a regional thrift store. 740-653-2812

The United Methodist Food Pantry (aka the Millersport Community Pantry) is a partner agency of Mid-Ohio Foodbank and a guest choice pantry. MCFP does not normally give out a pre-prepared box of food, except for some special holiday events. This will be determined at the discretion of the pantry.

Guests of the center may choose from quantities of available food or grocery items based on the size of their household.  MCFP serves Walnut Township (except Thurston) and all programs available will follow Mid-Ohio Foodbank guidelines.  Proof of residence is required. The pantry is open Thursday evenings 7PM – 8:30PM and the last Saturday of the month 9AM – 11AM. the site may be closed &/or rescheduled on some holidays. For information, call the Millersport United Methodist Church office at 740-467-2622.

Outreach Mission of Pleasantville, Ohio. This is a regional food bank.

PCMA Food Pantry, 70 Cross Street, Pickerington, Ohio. Telephone (614) 834-0079.

Additional food programs operate in the county. Pantries, free soup kitchens for meals as well as non-profit clothing closets may have free groceries, Christmas meals, clothing, hygiene supplies and much more. Continue reading free food pantries in Fairfield County Ohio.







Vision and medical care

The Southeast Ohio Sight Center, Inc. (phone (740) 687-4785) performs functional low vision exams for low income people and those with limited health insurance. The agency teaches techniques and use of adaptive aids, provides supportive services to improve independent functioning of the blind and visually impaired in the area.

There are other charitable national, local, and regional free vision programs. Whether the Lions Club, government Medicaid, or even eye doctors, support is offered. More information on Lions Club eyecare.


By Jon McNamara

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