ASHTON — Crosslight of Hope in Ashton will continue to serve the community through their food pantry while changing their operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Director Teresa Wilson said the food pantry will continue to serve the community from Glenwood to Gallipolis Ferry once a month as usual.
Crosslight closed their clothing closet, which includes clothing, housewares, toys and shoes when the government first recommended reducing gatherings to 50 people or less. Wilson said they did not want people touching items and then potentially spreading the germs to others who came along next.
Wilson said she was afraid they would have to close Crosslight altogether until they spoke with a representative from Facing Hunger Food Bank and developed a plan.
On March 18, Crosslight for Hope passed out 120 food boxes to people in the community. To reduce the points of contact, the operation ran as a drive-thru service. Clients stayed in their vehicles and volunteers loaded boxes of food into their cars. Wilson said they saw roughly 20 new clients last week.
“People were so grateful. They were afraid they weren’t going to be able to get any food,” Wilson said. “Our clients are struggling to be able to afford food and get it on the table before this crisis, now they can’t even find it on the shelf.”
Wilson is hoping to have another drive-thru food pantry on April 15 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and they will hand out as many food boxes as possible.
Wilson said Crosslight of Hope is always in need of food donations, especially with children being out of school. Products needed are what Wilson calls “meal makers,” which include peanut butter and jelly, soups, pasta, pasta sauce, canned meats and things that would make a lunch or meal for a family.
If you would like to donate food, message the Facebook page or call (304) 576-2971 to schedule a time to drop off items.
“We’re always in need of food, but we’re also always in need of prayer,” Wilson said. “I worry about a lot of the clients in our community, because a lot of them are elderly, a lot of them do have families. And this crisis impacts them exponentially. They were already in a position of struggling to find food and have enough food to feed their families. We definitely would appreciate prayer.”
To become a client at Crosslight of Hope, residents of Mason County need to fill out an application, which proves they qualify for assistance. The pantry receives their food through the Facing Hunger Food Bank, which is by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. To qualify, Crosslight of Hope needs a name, address and income amounts. Clients can only use one USDA food bank. Wilson said families who qualify for SNAP benefits are automatically eligible for food assistance through Crosslight.
Crosslight of Hope is located at 33483 Huntington Road in Ashton.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.