POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Ministerial Association has canceled its remaining Lenten Lunches because of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Chip Bennett, pastor at Bellemead United Methodist Church, said the association was taking an abundance of caution.
“We hate to cancel them, but we didn’t want to take the risk of getting someone sick,” Bennett said.
The association met over the weekend with other community leaders, elected officials and the board of education to discuss ideas of how they could respond and assist the community.
Bennett said local churches will partner with schools to help fill any gaps they might have to make sure student are taken care of. Each church is assigned to a school and will be communicating with the respective principals to see how they can help. On Monday, members of the ministerial association were passing out lunches to students.
Bennett said the other way the ministerial association will be assisting is to help the population that is at most risk of contracting the disease. The association established a phone number, which is 681-237-8509, for elderly or those with compromised immune systems to call to receive help. Members of the community who call the number will be connected with volunteers who will bring them essentials — such as groceries or medications.
“We expect the number of folks that will need a service like that will be relatively small, but we recognize that there are vulnerable people who just don’t have a support system around them.”
The Mason County Ministerial Association is accepting donations to its Samaritan Fund to continue their efforts. Donations can be made at People’s Bank or a GoFundMe page that can be found on the Bellemead United Methodist Church Facebook page.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.