MASON COUNTY — The Mason County Family Resource Network (FRN) conducted its monthly meeting virtually on Tuesday afternoon.
The group discussed news within its programs and upcoming events it hopes to host.
FRN Director Greg Fowler said the annual fishing rodeo is scheduled for June 13, which is also the free fishing day in West Virginia. Fowler said he has every intention of having this event at Krodel Park. Fowler also said that they may have to change some of the typical operation of the event to comply with social distancing guidelines.
Bree Ramey, with Mountain State Healthy Families, said the Baby Pantry is still doing drive-thru services and asks that participants message ahead of time with what they need. The Baby Pantry will still operate on the “emergency” schedule through the end of May. Ramey said the pantry will go back to the regular schedule in June with hours of noon-2 p.m. on the second Monday and 5-7 p.m. on the fourth Monday. It will still be a drive-thru pantry in June.
Ramey said the Facing Hunger Foodbank will be at the Bend Area Food Pantry on June 11 at 11 a.m. for a drive-thru food distribution.
Ramey said the teen court had not been able hold cases due to the courthouse being closed. Ramey doesn’t expect to have any new cases because most of them come from the schools. Ramey said there was a meeting with West Virginia University about how they work with teens who vape and smoke.
FRN will continue working with the Census grant to encourage people to respond to the 2020 Census. Ramey said that the most recent numbers she received were that Mason County had a 46 percent response rate so far. The City of Point Pleasant has a 61 percent response, which is the highest in the county. The town of Mason has the lowest response rate in the county with around 20 percent.
Ronie Wheeler, Prevention Coalition Director, said there should be an additional $5,000 coming to the organization. Wheeler said this could be used for the fishing rodeo or prevention classes at the grade schools. The Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) groups, which are under the Prevention Coalition, are not meeting due to schools being closes. The state SADD conference has been rescheduled until October, according to Wheeler.
In the open forum, Debbie Hon with Aetna said they were doing as much outreach as they can remotely. Hon said she hopes they can get out soon to meet with clients.
John Machir with the Mason County Homeless Shelter said they will begin taking out-of-state residents on June 1. Machir said the new shelter project has had slow progress moving forward, but the plans are almost finalized.
Kerri Sheppard with Mission WV said that families with EBT cards will have $313 per child added to their cards. Sheppard also said that if a school has free or reduced lunch prices, but the family does not receive food stamps, they will be mailed a card with the funds on them.
The next FRN meeting is scheduled for June 16 at 3 p.m. Fowler said he hopes to be able to meet in person, but that will be determined later.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.