POINT PLEASANT — Volunteers gathered at Krodel Park Thursday to help fellow citizens with some extra groceries.
The Facing Hunger Food Bank of Huntington, West Virginia services 17 counties in the Tri-State. Mobile distribution rotates between the counties each week said Samantha Adams, director of development and communication.
The last time we did one here, we [were] at about 283 families,” said Terry Adkins, program manager. “I have brought enough on the truck for 250 [today].”
Adkins said the program tries to load vehicles down to get families through.
“The benefit of it [mobile pantry] is that if anybody does have any type of food insecurities they know that, if anybody has been to any of these here with us, they know that if they have the room in their vehicle we’re going to load them down with as much stuff as we possibly can. To make sure we can get them through until they get back up on their feet,” Adkins said.
Ronie Wheeler and six other members of the Mason County Prevention Coalition came out to Krodel Park to help with the distribution. This was Wheeler’s first time with this event.
“It helps so our citizens in Mason County that aren’t able to purchase some of the food, so they get food that’s vital for them to have the nutrition that they should be able to have,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler said volunteering with events like the mobile pantry is a part of what the coalition does, but volunteering is something he just enjoys.
“I’m part of the Mason County Prevention Coalition and this is part of what we do for the county,” Wheeler said. “It’s just something I like to do. I volunteer, I’m in the VFW. I’m the Prevention Coalition coordinator. I just like to get out and do things. It keeps me active.”
The mobile pantries give out a variety of things from fresh produce to dry goods.
“We give out anywhere between three to six pounds of meat. We give out fresh produce. We give out dry good, pretty much anything that we have at our warehouse that we can bring that we have room for, we will put on here [truck],” Adkins said.
It was unknown how many vehicles would come through the distribution line but volunteers were hopeful the rain would not stop anyone.
“With the rain, we’re hoping we get more, but should be around 200,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler said he can see the gratitude on people’s face while helping.
“Sometimes you even get thank yous and that’s really nice,” Wheeler said.
The mobile pantry is just one thing the Mason County Prevention Coalition helps with, Wheeler said the group has a Facebook to keep citizens updated on what they are doing and when, especially the mobile food distributions and encourages everyone to follow it.
“We do have a Facebook for the prevention coalition. They can go there and see things that we’re doing,” Wheeler said.
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Brittany Hively is a staff reporter for Ohio Valley Publishing.