Giveaway helps address food insecurity in Roane County

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AMMA, WV (WOWK) – Volunteers in Roane County worked to make sure no one in the area goes hungry by hosting a free food giveaway Monday. Those volunteers said there are many factors contributing to a problem of food insecurity in that area.

Harold Chapman is retired and now he volunteers at the Amma Center. He spent Monday afternoon loading free boxes of food into people’s vehicle’s.

“We need this really bad in this area. There are so many unemployed. There are so many that are employed that are just having a hard time making it,” Chapman said.

Hours before the giveaway Monday, the group found out they’d be getting 100 boxes of fresh food. So they put out a call to the community on social media.

Volunteer Linda Drennen said there are many factors contributing to concerns about food insecurity. One of them is the fact that senior citizens are raising grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“In most cases they don’t get any extra money because they don’t get custody of those kids,” Drennen said. “They are just raising them to keep them out of the system and by doing that they’ve assumed a responsibility that is adding to their monthly expenses.”

For many people just having access to food is a challenge. People in the community have to travel to Elkview, Spencer or Flatwoods to get to a large grocery store. It may not seem like far, but for people without transportation or on a fixed income it can be limiting.

“Those who can’t travel that far and there are several who can’t travel that far this is a big help for them in this area,” Chapman said.

Some of the people stopping by to get boxes were also delivering to neighbors who can’t get out.

“We try to do everything we can to help our community and this is one way we can do it,” Drennen said.

While the giveaway Monday was a last minute surprise the center also has a monthly scheduled food pantry, the last Thursday of every month.

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