FIA’s Dexter Food Pantry Set to Reopen at Hilltop View


FIA’s Dexter food pantry is located inside the Community Building of Hilltop View Apartments on Dan Hoey Road.

By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

Faith in Action’s (FIA) food pantry will open in its new Dexter location in the Hilltop View Apartment complex on Wednesday, May 4, 12:00-7:00 pm.

“We’ve been absent from the community of Dexter for longer than we wanted to be because of COVID,” says Sarah Shugart, Associate Director for FIA. “Being able to serve folks in the community where they live is important. We’re excited to get this pantry underway again.”

FIA Associate Director Sarah Shugart (L) and Pantry Coordinator Rachel Hurst receive a delivery from Food Gatherers.

The food pantry is one component of the 24-unit Avalon Housing development on Dan Hoey Road. Six of the apartments are designated for veterans with supportive services provided by the Veterans Administration. Nine apartments will be assigned based on income. The remaining nine will be for housing insecure families with supportive services provided by FIA. Of the nine housing insecure families, eight are from the Dexter area.

Many local groups and individuals have donated furnishings for the veteran and supportive apartments. The Dexter Lion’s Club purchased the commercial refrigerator and freezer to be used in the pantry (as well as bedding for the apartments). St. Joseph Parish in Dexter donated funds used to initially stock the pantry’s shelves. Seasonal and fresh produce is supplied by Food Gatherers, Busch’s, and the Dexter Rotary Club.

The Dexter Lions Club purchased a commercial refrigerator and freezer for the pantry.

Rachel Hurst is the Pantry Coordinator. Rachel has been a volunteer with FIA for eight years at its Chelsea location. When asked why she made the jump from volunteer to a staff position, Rachel replied, “I’ve always loved Faith in Action and enjoy being part of a team that helps people. Whatever gifts and talents I have, I want to use them for Faith in Action.”

Bennice Byles is FIA’s Social Worker for Hilltop View Apartments. Her office is behind the food pantry with the other offices. Bennice has been in social work for twelve years before coming to FIA in February, and she will be helping the families with their day-to-day needs and crisis management.

Bennice Byles, FIA Social Worker for Hilltop View Apartments in front of the stocked shelves funded by St. Joseph Parish in Dexter.

“Today, I had the opportunity of showing one of our new residents her unit,” said Bennice. “To see her joy, excitement, and tears, it just really touched my heart to see her frame a new vision of herself.”

“If you need food, we’re here for you,” states FIA on their website. The pantry is for anyone in need. Hours for the pantry are Mondays 9:00-4:00 pm, Wednesdays 12:00-7:00 pm, and Fridays 10:00-2:00 pm.

For more information on Faith in Action and its services, visit

Photos taken by Doug Marrin

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