TAYLOR COUNTY—It has been reported that one in eight families in America go hungry, and 41 million Americans worry about where their next meal will come from.
For families nationwide, merely being able to afford three meals a day is an impossible feat.
In West Virginia, over 275,000 individuals are faced with the sad reality that they simply don’t have the means to obtain food for themselves and their families.
For some Taylor County residents, hunger is a very real and apparent problem, but with the help of local food pantries and feeding programs, individuals are able to receive support when it comes to their nutrition needs.
Typically following the holidays, donations to these helpful outlets seem to dip, leaving organizations wondering how they will restock their supplies to help those who need it the most. And because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the need for food is even greater this year.
“Hunger and food insecurity are common challenges that families face as a result of a health crisis, job loss or other unexpected event,” said United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties Executive Director Brett White. “And in the uncertainty that is the current COVID-19 pandemic, even more people are finding themselves unsure of where their next meal is coming from.”
To help combat hunger in the communities it serves, the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties (UWMTC) is launching their United Against Hunger campaign.
“The fluctuation of donations that are seen following the season of holiday giving directly impacts the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities and the ability to keep folks fed during the coldest months of the year,” reported White.
Each February, the United Way teams up with local pantries and feeding programs to help dish out food and provide the nutrition and nourishment that the body need to perform at its best.
Because they serve both Marion and Taylor Counties, the UWMTC has a total of nine organizations that they are hoping to help with this year’s campaign.
Locally, partnerships have been formed with Taylor County Family Resources and Project HOP2E, to assist residents in Taylor County who are facing food insufficiency.
Taylor County Family Resources has mission of helping residents across various facets through multiple pantries, but their most utilized is their food pantry.
The non-profit organization, located at 105 Beech Street in Grafton, is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. to assist residents in need. Residents seeking assistance during these trying times, along with anytime throughout the year will need to take part in a simple registration process.
While there are no guidelines that participants must meet, they are required to fill out a document before receiving assistance.
To learn more about TCFR, please visit tcfamilyresources.org or call 304-265-6838.
Taylor County Project HOP2E, located in Greene’s Plaza in Blueville, is a non-profit organization, with a primary goal of providing food to those in need. The organization runs solely off of volunteer work.
Their pantry operates every other Tuesday from 5:00-7:00 p.m., by appointment only. According to the UWMTC’s United Against Hunger website, the items most needed for Project HOP2E include canned vegetables, peanut butter and pasta.
To learn more about Project HOP2E, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ProjectHop2e, or call 304-709-0164.
In Marion County, the organization has formed a partnership with Friendship Fairmont for an ongoing effort to arm the entity with both food donations and volunteers to help with their goal of feeding residents in need.
Additionally, they will be working alongside The Connecting Link; HOPE, INC; the Salvation Army; the Mannington Food Pantry; Catholic Charities; and the Soup Opera.
“If you are looking for ways to help, please consider one of these programs,” commented White. “Please do what you can to help organizations that serve the essential needs of our most vulnerable residents. Help us be United Against Hunger.”
To learn how you can help, please visit www.unitedwaymtc.org/hunger.