Human element comes out in Food Pantry services
by MAC OVERTON
Aug 18, 2013 | 706 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The monthly reports from the Upshur County Shares Food Pantry show its impact.

The report for July shows, for example,the total number of families helped was 686, which was 73 more than the previous high.

The total number of people served in July was 1,832, including 63 new registrations.

The pantry also gave out 146 commodity boxes—the pantry’s allotment of 131, plus an additional 15 boxes that another pantry was unable to give out.

In addition, they gave out potatoes, onions and watermelons, along with the boxes.

But the true impact of the Food Pantry on individual lives comes when you talk to some of the clients who receive monthly help.

On a recent Wednesday morning, several talked to The Mirror about their circumstances and the help the pantry gives, under condition of anonymity.

“It helps a lot. I have three little girls,” said a 35-year-old woman. “I’ve just taken in my young nephew because my sister died of cancer.”

She said she had to quit work to take care of the four youngsters.

“The food I get here helps me get through the month.”

“It really helps me,” stated a 66-year-old woman, who has four kids—two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren—she is looking after. “I have one income, and be the end of the month, it’s hard to make it” without the food given her by the pantry.

She also stated something echoed by many others: “The people here are super nice.”

She said the volunteers who staff the pantry, which is open to distribute food boxes on Monday and Wednesday mornings, are friendly and don’t make you feel stigmatized for needing help.

“I’m 100 percent disabled,” said a 54-year-old man. “The food helps me make it.”

A woman who said she is disabled and has had four back surgeries said “I really depend on the help monthly.”

A 65-year-old grandmother said it helps her stretch her limited income for other purposes.

“It also helps my sister, who has three children to take care of,” she added.

Another woman said “this is the only way I can get vegetables. It really means a lot. They are extremely nice here.”

Dr. Don Warden, one of the coordinators of the project, said that all applicants are screened according to guidelines, and information is placed in a computer and organized to prevent duplication.

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