Lend food bank a hand in time of need

An editorial from the Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG — At first glance, the news of a crisis at Mountaineer Food Bank in Braxton County may not seem as though it matter much to people in the Mid-Ohio Valley. But the food bank serves 68 soup kitchens in 48 counties. It feeds thousands of West Virginia families each month, through the food pantry network. And now, because of a lack of donations and a crashed computer and inventory system, Mountaineer Food Bank has been forced to lay off 17 of its 27 employees.

“So, that trickles down to the pantries,” Interim Director Dave Karr said. “We serve 250,000 people monthly through the pantry network. There’s going to be less food available. So, that’s catastrophic for them. They’re all starting to understand that this has a big impact on what they can do in their community.” (Karr has since been let go as well, with the board of directors citing the cost of maintaining his position.)

One community impacted is our own. In fact, the Rev. Marjorie Bevans of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church suggests that most of the state’s food pantries rely on Mountaineer Food Bank.

“I know we would not be able to do what we do here at Good Shepherd without them,” she said.

According to Karr, the food bank needs $250,000 in donations within the next month to break even. That sounds like a lot of money, but if even a few people in each of the communities served by the food bank are able to donate a small amount of money, the total will rise quickly.

Help can be given at mountaineerfoodbank.org. And, again, remember this is not some far off charity seeking a handout from those who will never be affected by its work. This is an organization on which soup kitchens and food pantries right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley rely. For as much help as they have given, surely we can find a way to lend a hand in their time of need.

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