Volunteers at the food pantry inside Ashland First United Methodist Church know there are times when they simply don’t have enough food to send home with families, especially those with children when school is not in session.
Now seeking public support to obtain a grant from Walmart, which they expect will significantly enhance the situation, the church food pantry receives clients through the community agency CaRES, and serves more than 200 families, including more than 100 children, with enough groceries to get them through one week of the month, according to food pantry director Linda Firebaugh.
“If we get the grant money, we can beef up our family boxes,” Firebaugh said, explaining they begin packing each of the boxes using foods they receive from the USDA through the Huntington Area Food Bank, including two or three packages of meats, cereal, three or four cans of vegetables or fruits possibly including juice, peanut butter, soup, mashed potato flakes, crackers and canned milk.
“If there’s more than one in the family they get additional foods,” Firebaugh said, explaining additional foods are also provided when schools are not in session and parents must provide 10 meals which would have otherwise been served to their children at school that week.
“With the grant, we could increase what we provide for the children,” she said, noting they would like to give the kids a greater amount of fruits and vegetables “and maybe some fresh things as well as canned.”
Firebaugh said anyone who is willing to help the local church compete for the grant is asked to visit Walmart’s page on Facebook and vote for Ashland First United Methodist Church, or find the church listed under the “Neighborhood Food Pantry” category as part of the retail stores’ “Fighting Hunger Together” program.
For more information about food pantry efforts by Ashland First United Methodist Church call Firebaugh at (606) 831-1001.
TIM PRESTON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.