GRAFTON—Community members came together on Friday to help disperse food items out to local organizations, after a mass shipment of some fresh and non-perishable food was delivered to the county.
Mountaineer Food Bank delivered not one but two semi-truck trailers of food to a few local organizations who will then use the provisions to help feed those in need in the community.
While one truck unloaded at the Project HOP2E building, another unloaded pallets upon pallets of food items in the parking lot, that were passed out to various charitable organizations.
On hand to help disperse the food as needed were community members and volunteers. In fact, three crews from the Taylor County Emergency Medical Squad (TCEMS) were on site to offer some muscle and manpower, as a way to give back to the community.
“At TCEMS, we believe that it is our job to care for the community, and that doesn’t just mean health care,” said Lieutenant Michelle Mayle. “We believe, especially in these current times, that it is very important to come together for the better of the community.”
Individuals worked to divvy up items, bringing much needed supplies to Project HOP2E, Taylor County Family Resources (TCFR), the Salvation Army and local churches.
Inside the Project HOP2E building, armed with masks and gloves, volunteers formed a line and passed the newly acquired food from person to person, filling up a U-Haul truck, so the goods could be transported to the TCFR office.
TCFR received frozen items, as well as prepackaged nonperishable food boxes that they then used in their monthly distribution later in the day.
The distribution was held across from their location on Beech Street from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Families were not required to pre-register for the event, and food was passed out on a first come, first serve basis.
“I want to thank all of our volunteers and the police officers for helping with the food distribution,” said TCFR’s Lisa Wotring. “We served around 200 families during the distribution. We couldn’t have served so many folks without your help.”
“We also received much needed items that will be put to use in our food pantry, to help feed those who find themselves in need,” said Cathy Coontz-Griffith. “While we were able to stock back up, we are still in need of pasta.”
She said that any donations of any type of pasta would be greatly appreciated.
“If you are able, when out getting your essential needs, please think of our food pantry and those that we are feeding,” commented Wotring.
“Many families cannot afford to stock up, so we are asking the community to consider if you have surplus items and are willing to donate to our pantries to do so,” she added. ““We of course are always accepting and appreciative of monetary donations, payable to TCFR.”
Residents seeking assistance during these trying times, along with anytime throughout the year will need to take part in a simple registration process.
“We do not have any guidelines that have to be met,” Coontz-Griffith noted. “Individuals will need to complete a form and we will begin assisting to the best of our ability.”
Donations may be dropped off at their office, located at 105 Beech Street, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and on Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., and checks and money orders can be mailed to Taylor County Family Resources 105 Beech Street, Grafton, WV 26354.
Those in need may also want to try visiting the folks at Project HOP2E, who will be distributing food from their pantry on Wednesdays from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Like many of the other pantries in town, Project HOP2E is also seeking assistance to help keep their shelves stocked.
“As we get our pantry restocked, we will open a day or two more a week, because there is certainly a need among the community right now,” said Project HOP2E President Mike Thrush. “If someone would like to send monetary donations, they may mail them to PO Box 341 Grafton, WV 26354.”
He said those wishing to donate items may contact him directly at 304-518-9665.
“Without donations from our community, we could not do what we do,” he expressed. “This pandemic has really shown how a community can come together and support each other.”
Captain Denise “Dee” Stewart revealed that the Salvation Army is also happy to offer food distributions to the community and was blessed to received seven pallets of food items that would be used in their pantry.
“The way that we are able to order from the USDA has changed, so this will really help us out,” she said.
The Grafton Salvation Army, located at 111 Beech St, Grafton, will be holding food distributions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Residents wishing to take part in the program will have to register and must fall within guidelines.
The Salvation Army is open to take donations of non-perishable food items during those days as well. However, Captain Dee said that if other arrangements need to be made, she can be reached on her cell phone at 443-903-6142.