Olean Food Pantry began in 1954 when a small women’s’ group from Bethany Lutheran church started providing food to people referred to them by Social Services. In the 70’s and 80’s these needs were handled on an on-call basis.
In 1989 Bethany Food Pantry was reorganized under the auspices of the Greater Olean Association of Churches, an ecumenical board was formed and the first OFP director was named. For the first time volunteers had the pantry open for regular hours! As the needs of the community grew so did the pantry which moved to several different locations including Central Baptist Church, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church, and 1010 Wayne street in the Empire Zone.
In August of 2004 The Olean Food Pantry became Olean Food Pantry Inc. and is now an official 501(3)c tax exempt organization independent of GOAC. Through the generosity of the community and Bethany Lutheran Church the Olean Food Pantry Inc. now resides at 8 Leo Moss Drive in a new building dedicated on September 15th 2007.