Alicia Erjavec, Michael McClintock
The snowy MLK weekend saw local volunteers conduct a Food Drive at the Old Shop and Save building in Davis to benefit three critical county food distribution operations, the Tucker County FRN, the Blackwater Ministerial Association and the Hinkle House Food Pantry.
Members of Friends of the Blackwater and the Tucker County Democratic Executive Committee organized more than a dozen volunteers from the area in holding a Food Drop-off at the Old Shop and Save in Davis. The Drop-off was open from 10AM to 6PM on Saturday, Sunday and Monday the 16th, 17th and 18th of January. The event was announced in the Happenings section of Advocate on the preceding Wednesday, posters were placed around the county, and details posted on Facebook and Instagram in the days leading up to the holiday weekend.
The site was organized for drive-up or walk-up donation, making it easy to follow safe Covid protocols, and was remarkably successful despite the winter weather. More than a hundred donations were made at the drop-off by area residents and by visitors to the county, and numerous donations were made online. As the snow melted the following week all the proceeds were divided and delivered to the beneficiaries.
The organizers would like to give special thanks to FSRM for the use of the warehouse, and to the Davis Firehall for the loan of folding tables.
The three-day drive realized almost $4800 in monetary donations (cash, check, and virtual), and $900 of “in-kind” food donations to aid the three food distribution efforts. While these Food Banks operate somewhat “under the radar,” we should all be aware that they provide essential assistance to those in need throughout the year and recognize their conscientious work.
April Miller, the executive director of the Tucker County Family Resource Network (FRN,) says that on average, they feed about 150-200 families per month. “This includes our school-based Backpack feeding program and our monthly mobile food distribution efforts.” The Backpack Buddies is a weekly feeding program that provides weekend meals for children during the school year; and their monthly distributions come in the form of the Tucker County Mobile Pantry.
According to Pastor Ruth Bulwinkle “The Blackwater Food Pantry “serves about 70 family units per month and at times has served over 80.” She relates that “Members of all the local churches and people from the community give of their time to help with the food pantry”, that “Most of the funding…comes from donations from church members and the community.” And that “During the pandemic people have been extra generous.”
Dorothy Carr says that the Hinkle House Food Pantry in Parsons “serves about 40 families per week, which is 150 families per month.” Families are allowed one visit per month, and each family is given similar boxes of goods and can choose additional items from a shelf of donations that were received in lesser quantity.
If you missed the opportunity during the MLK Food Drive, you may always make donations:
· Tucker County FRN; bring food and essentials to the Board of Ed building, 100 Education Lane in Parsons, or go to their website to make monetary donations.
· Blackwater Ministerial Association; bring food and essentials to the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church during Sunday Mass, 3rd and Spruce Streets in Thomas.
· Hinkle House; make donations at the First United Methodist Church in Parsons.