Clay County has pop up pantry in wake of last grocery store closing

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CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – United Way and Mountaineer Food Bank held a pop up pantry due to lack of food resources in Clay County.

The pantry began at 5 p.m. and had cars lining up beginning at 2 p.m. Some of those cars lined up were waiting in the heat without air conditioning. Even so, residents are thankful for the effort made to make food more accessible.

“This right here helps tremendously. A lot of people here can’t get to the store and stuff and with this here, it makes it a lot easier for them” says Clay County resident Donna Tryon.

The pop up pantry supplies food like chicken, fruit, eggs, and canned goods. Food that is becoming a challenge to get in the community.

“This is something we can supplement”, says President of United Way of Central West Virginia Margaret Oneal, “It’s not a permanent solution but it sure is something that can be stop gap until we figure out what else we can do”.

Dr. Becker is a community doctor in Clay County and says about half of the people she sees coming through the pop up pantry are her patients. She says the lack of healthy resources her patients have is starting to become a problem.

“Unfortunately I literally have to start by saying, ‘What food do you have access to?’ ‘Do you even have food?’ then I usually end up telling them to come here when we’re doing food distributions every other week”.

About 700 people came out to the pop up pantry. United Way and Mountaineer food bank hope to continue to provide food to the community until finding a more permanent solution.

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