POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Family Resource Network (FRN) met virtually on Tuesday for the first meeting of the year.
Members of the organization and local agencies gave updates on programs and resources in the area.
Bree Ramey updated attendees on the Mason County Baby Pantry, which is open on the second and third Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. The pantry served over 400 children for the Christmas holiday, according to Ramey. Ramey hopes the clothing items will be available to participants soon. These items will likely be available by appointment or pre-bagged for those by request.
The baby pantry will be putting together Easter baskets this year for participants.
The Mason County Prevention Coalition gave an update during the FRN meeting. The coalition is looking at adding more vape detectors to the county high schools. FRN Director Greg Fowler said the coalition pays for the devices, which are about $1,000 each, and the school board pays for the annual software fee of about $250. Fowler also said the SADD groups in each high school are doing well and have an increase of interest in membership.
Ramey said there have no new cases in Teen Court, due to high school students not being in in-person classes. However, there will be a virtual mock trial soon for those interested in participating in the Teen Court.
Fowler said they served 103 youth during the Family Christmas event in December at the Mason County Board of Education office parking lot. Also for Christmas, FRN received 500 gifts for Mason County children last month from the Greenbrier Dream Tree. Many gifts were used to help churches and organizations throughout the county, as well as some elementary schools.
Ramey said there will be new “blessing boxes” placed throughout the county as part of the grant the organization received. One will be placed at the Baby Pantry and boxes have been requested at Beale Elementary and the county library, according to Ramey. The grant, which is through Marshall’s Health Initiative, also provides funding to stock the boxes when placed.
Fowler said the FRN completed a COVID-19 resource guide, in addition to the usual resource guide. This guide lists places to get tested and how to register to receive a vaccine.
Fowler said the Facing Hunger Food Bank truck will be in Ashton on March 4, Mason on April 22 and hopefully in Point Pleasant in May.
The next Mason County Family Resource Network meeting is scheduled for Feb. 16 at 3 p.m.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.