Charleston’s Manna Meal is in need of volunteers this season.
This as the state’s poverty numbers continue to increase, according to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
In 2017, more than 300,000 West Virginias lived in poverty. The mountain state currently has the lowest average household income across the nation.
Tara Martinez is the executive director of Manna Meal. Martinez says in the last two years, majority of those served at the soup kitchen weren’t homeless, but rather people working multiple jobs.
“Recently, we’ve seen more of the working class coming in. Here in Charleston, we have a lot of service industry employees,” said Martinez. “Most of them work multiple jobs just to make ends meets and most can’t even do that.”
Manna Meal serves two meals a day, 365 days a year, including holidays. Martinez says they will serve both breakfast and lunch on Christmas Day.
“We are planning on giving our usual staff the day off,” said Martinez. “But we need volunteers.”
Martinez says ideally they would like 15 to 20 volunteers to serve on Christmas Day. If you are interested in volunteering, you can reach the volunteer coordinator, Jennifer Peters, at (304) 345-7121 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Martinez says Manna Meal will be closed at the beginning of the year for routine cleaning and training on January 4 – January 6. On those three days, another local soup kitchen will be serving meals in it’s place.