Food distribution event helps hundreds

West Virginia

MINGO COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — A partnership between two nonprofit organizations in the Mountain State is bringing hope to those in need.

Mingo County residents themselves will tell you, the after-effects of the pandemic lockdowns are still rippling across the area.

“It’s been terrible here for us, we’re so used to being a small close community,” says Teresa Fessenden of Mingo County.

“Oh, it’s a great need. Sure is, it’s poor. Coal mines is down, coal trucks are down, lot of stuff is down in our area and they’re poor, you know, they have to depend on what they can get,” says Larry Brown of Mingo County.

That is why Facing Hunger Foodbank is partnering with local food pantry House of Hope to meet the great need in this community.

“We plan to serve around 250 families with nutritious product,” says Velma Workman, director of strategic development at Facing Hunger Foodbank.

The food given away averages around 50 pounds of goods per family.

“We have some potatoes, we have eggs, we have apples, we have canned goods, we have grains and we have meats as well,” Workman says.

Of the many West Virginia counties Facing hunger Foodbank serves, Mingo County has one of the higher rates of food insecurity.

“We’re seeing a food insecurity rate of the upper 20’s; that’s like 25, 26 percent. Two out of every five kids are food insecure in this county right here,” Workman says.

It’s a problem Workman says has not eased, even as pandemic restrictions have.

“During the height of the pandemic, we were probably up about 60 percent overall in our service area. But even with the ease of the restrictions now, we are still seeing so much unemployment.” 

The director of the House of Hope, Christine Treleven, can attest to that fact.

“This month we served 501 families, the month before 601. We’re seeing situations along that line also, of ‘Okay, I’m gettin’ on my feet, but I’m still not there.’ Listen, we’re here, we’re here to serve, we’re here to help,” Treleven says.

By giving Mingo County residents the nutritious boost they may need, one trunkful at a time.

There will be another food distribution event at House of Hope in Mingo County on the 24th of July.

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