Grace United Community Ministries reopens renovated building

Mayor Quinton Lucas stands with Grace United Community Ministries Executive Director Jesse Barnes, Board Chair Max Sherman and Food Pantry and Clothes Closet Coordinator Archie Johnson in preparation to officially reopen the food and clothing pantries June 6. The Grace United Ministries building got renovated earlier this year. Photo by Tatum Goetting

By Tatum Goetting, Editorial Assistant

A red ribbon spread across the entry door of Grace United Community Ministries on June 5 as the organization held a grand re-opening for the newly renovated building, which included a new food pantry and other rooms stocked with products like toilet paper and diapers.

The pantry at 811 Benton Blvd. had to temporarily close in February of this year to refurbish and repair the nearly 100-year-old building, Grace United Board Chair Max Sherman said.

“[The renovation] was long overdue,” Sherman said. “Any facility that serves the public should look warm, welcoming, well-maintained. It should be something both staff are proud to work in and clients are happy to visit; it just did not meet that standard at all.”

Stacked diapers, clothing, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper and other necessities fill the new, refurbished, clothing pantry. Photo by Tatum Goetting

Amy Graves, a volunteer in charge of the community garden, said the renovation had been in the works since March. Graves said construction consisted of retiling, repainting, putting in new baseboards and new stairs.

Executive Director and CEO of Grace United Jesse Barnes said the COVID-19 pandemic increased the amount of food being distributed to the community.

“We definitely wanted to have a place that gave people dignity and an area that had options for people,” Barnes said. “We didn’t want to turn people away.”

Canned goods and nonperishable foods line the walls of the Grace United Food Pantry. Photo by Tatum Goetting

Barnes said since the pandemic, there had been larger families and more people without housing than the organization had seen in the past.

Grace United volunteers continued to serve community members who were food insecure with sack lunches even when the building closed for renovations.

“[When the building was closed] we provided families with groceries and lunches on a case-by-case basis,” Barnes said. “Many people were calling, so those were scheduled. We also just had people who happened to walk by during our hours and we made food available for them as well.”

Mayor Quinton Lucas attended the event and helped cut the symbolic ribbon alongside Sherman, Barnes and Food Pantry and Clothes Closet Coordinator Archie Johnson.

“All the money in the world wouldn’t make the difference for your time, commitment and love for this community,” Lucas said to the crowd. “We have a lot of needs in Kansas City; you all are taking a big step in addressing [them].”

Attending the grand reopening of Grace United Community Ministries, community members serve themselves food provided by the organization. Photo by Tatum Goetting

Sherman said a main goal of Grace United is the advancement of children’s education in the Northeast Kansas City area.

“What Grace is able to do for the kids that we tutor, rather than the schools being the opportunities for the kids, we bring the opportunity to the kids,” Sherman said. “It helps set the foundation of a decent public education. My volunteers, myself included, do this for the kids.”

Barnes said Northeast Kansas City will receive more support from the community by helping those in need. 

“We want to ensure that our place is a place of refuge and provides great food,” Barnes said. “We will always appreciate food donations, canned or dry goods as well as financial support, whether it’s small or large. It all helps our organization.”

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Loved ones gather to mourn homicide victim Elizabeth Stivers

    23 hours ago

    Family and friends of Elizabeth Stivers gathered in front of her home on 7th Street Sunday evening to mourn, lighting […]

    Explore the International Marketplace with this map!

    March 8th, 2023

    Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below! Enter your email address and click on […]


    March 8th, 2023

    Eleos Coffee Ministries at 3401 Independence Avenue recently won a Paint it Forward contest hosted by radio station Life 88.5 […]

    279: “Resurrection City” with Catherine Browder

    March 5th, 2023

    On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, Northeast resident and author Catherine Browder discusses her new book, “Resurrection City: […]

    KC homeless man charged in fatal stabbing

    March 2nd, 2023

    A Kansas City man experiencing homelessness has been charged in the Feb. 25, 2023, fatal stabbing of James Perry inside […]

    How to help fallen KCPD Officer James “Jimmy” Muhlbauer’s family

    February 17th, 2023

    There are a number of links being circulated with fund raising opportunities to help the family of fallen KCPD Officers […]

    Community Calendar

    February 15th, 2023

    WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15 – Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Victory Parade! For more details go to Kansas City Public […]

    Plan Blueprint 2030 es aprobado, Collier invita a la comunidad a tomar acción 

    February 1st, 2023

    El 25 de enero, la mesa directiva del Distrito de Escuelas Públicas de Kansas City aprobó la versión modificada del […]

    Felony murder charges filed in Saturday’s double fatality crash

    January 13th, 2023

    Charles T. Matthews of Kansas City, Kan., faces multiple felony charges in connection with the deaths of two people killed […]

  • Meet the Northeast News’ Potter Digital Ambassador

    January 11th, 2023

    By Abby Hoover The Northeast News is honored to host a Potter Digital Ambassador from the University of Missouri’s (MU) […]

    267: Jackson County 1st District Legislator Scott Burnett

    December 10th, 2022

    On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, we’re joined by Jackson County’s First District Legislator Scott Burnett, who shares […]

    Northeast Kansas City Election Results

    November 8th, 2022

    This page will be updated as election results are updated by City, County and State election offices. The polls closed […]

    Winter Magic

    November 7th, 2022

    Winter Magic Drive-Thru holiday lights experience along Cliff Drive November 3, 2022 – January 1, 2023 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 […]

    Scare-It Halloween

    November 1st, 2022

    Scare-It Halloween hosted car-free trick-or-treating on Gladstone Boulevard on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022 for nearly 7,000 children and families. Want […]

    261: Kansas City, a UNESCO Creative City of Music

    October 29th, 2022

    On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, sponsored by the Kansas City Museum, we’re joined by Dr. Jacob Wagner, […]

    Down She Comes!

    October 26th, 2022

    A chronic nuisance house at 3014 E. 6th street is finally being demolished today after a long history of fires, […]

    258: Northeast Historic Homes Tour

    October 8th, 2022

    On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast we’re getting a sneak preview at the Northeast Kansas City Historical Society’s […]

    Charges filed in Gladstone homicide

    October 4th, 2022

    A 61-year-old Kansas City man has been charged in connection with the fatal stabbing Saturday evening in the 500 block […]

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.