Jewel City officials organize first official ‘Day of Service’

Local News

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — Huntington city employees came together to serve their community in a slightly different way Wednesday.

Dozens of volunteers, representing public servants from all corners of the Jewel City, gathered at a local community foodbank to assemble 40 pound food boxes for those in need.

These 40-pound food boxes will be going to senior citizens in need. (Photo Courtesy: Photojournalist Chris Holtzapfel)

The Facing Hunger Foodbank is teeming with activity and optimism.

“Sometimes just doing the right thing is all you need to do.” 

Richard Kern, Huntington Police Department

The event attracted roughly 40 volunteers from the city, to pack up food boxes for senior citizens in the first official event of it’s kind—and they hope to make it an annual tradition.

“Our employees are always doing things, but this is the first organized day of service that we’ve had.” 

Steve Williams, Mayor of Huntington

The idea for the community service project at the foodbank was born from the great need seen just in the past year.

“The need from last year pre-pandemic to pandemic increased about 20 percent.” 

Cyndi Kirkhart, CEO, Facing Hunger Foodbank
The need for the foodbank has grown immensely throughout the pandemic. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Photojournalist Chris Holtzapfel)

“We provided over 17 million pounds of food last year, and that wasn’t enough.” 

Bill Brown, Facing Hunger Foodbank

So now, city employees are volunteering their time to give back.

“With the pandemic and all, you got families out their suffering, kids need to eat, so it’s a no brainer to come and help.” 

Curtis Jones, City of Huntington employee

“It’s fulfilling! A lot of times what we do, it goes unseen, it goes unnoticed.  But I’ll be appreciated by people I’ll never know, people I’ll never meet, and it makes you feel good inside.” 

Richard Kern, Huntington Police Department
Chief Jan Rader, along with many other volunteers, assembled food boxes at the Facing Hunger Foodbank. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Photojournalist Chris Holtzapfel)

“One of the Appalachian values is, you help your neighbor.” 

Chief Jan Rader, City of Huntington Fire Department

Instead of doing this ‘day of service’ on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, scheduling this event for today was intentional.

“I wanted this to be on Inauguration Day so that we’d be sending a message that we’re all standing together…Regardless of what our political leanings are, we are Americans.” 

Steve Williams, Mayor of Huntington

City employees worked in shifts all day to fill the boxes.

Spokespeople for the foodbank say they can always use a helping hand, so for more information on them, visit their website here.

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