POINT PLEASANT — Facing Hunger Food Bank is bringing a helping hand to the Mason County community this Thursday (Aug. 19).
The food bank will setup at Krodel Park between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until the food is gone.
According to their website, Facing Hunger Food Bank is a “private, nonprofit, charitable organization” serving 116,000 residents since 1983.
The food bank was originally known as The Huntington Area Food Bank and only served Cabell and Wayne counties. After the first year of operation, the program expanded to include Boone, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mason, Mingo, Putnam and Wyoming in West Virginia; Boyd, Greeenup and Lawrence, Kentucky; and Lawrence, Ohio to serve the need the organization was seeing, the website said.
During the height of COVID-19 restrictions, the food bank saw an increase in need by 60 percent across the Tri-State said Samantha Adams, director of development and communication.
Adams said while the need has dwindled, it is still 20 to 25 percent more than what the food bank normally sees.
“The hole was dug so deep during COVID,” Adams said.
To help abate the fears of food insecurity the food bank holds mobile distributions each Thursday in a different county. All Mason County residents are welcome to the mobile distribution. Adams said there is not an income limit, but it is asked that residents bring their ID or another proof of Mason County residency with them.
Adams said the boxes are available for everyone and those who are unable to personally come to the distribution for any reason can allocate someone to pick up their box for them.
“They [one picking up] would have to provide the person’s name and how many people are in their family,” Adams said. “And we typically ask them to bring their [the one unable to attend] ID with them so we can ensure they also live in the county.”
The food boxes include a variety of things that often include dry goods, produce, a gallon of milk, eggs, meat and other things, Adams said.
Visitors should be prepared for a wait. Adams said that in her experience people will start lining up as early as 7 a.m.
The mobile food bank rotates counties throughout the Tri-State. Adams said. The schedule of distribution can be found on the organization’s website, facinghungerfoodbank.org or on the nonprofit’s social media platforms.
Facing Hunger Food Bank operates through donations, grants and volunteers.
Adams encourages anyone facing food insecurity to go to their website or call 304-523-6029 to check for possible qualifying programs.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.