Published On: Wed, Nov 27th, 2013

Lewisburg Fairlea Food Locker needs help to meet demands

Commentary

The Lewisburg Fairlea Food Locker is in an emergency situation. Since the beginning of 2012, the number of families served has risen as people lose jobs, or work at low paying jobs. Many are seniors, disabled or living on fixed incomes. Many are families with children. At the same time the amount of food received from the Mountaineer Food Bank in Gassaway, and cash donations from the participating churches have stayed the same or fallen.

The Lewisburg Food Locker is located at the Old Stone Church and serves residents of the Lewisburg area, including Fairlea and Caldwell. Each month volunteers from participating churches distribute food to approximately 140 residents of Lewisburg Manor, Tabor Towers and Morgan Manor. A single resident receives one bag of groceries; if there are two or more in a family they receive two bags. On the same day families come to Old Stone Church to pick up food. In February, 2012, 39 families received 65 bags of food. In September that number increased to 57 families and 100 bags of food. In addition, approximately 25 bags are given to individuals who need food during the month on an emergency basis. Recipients must meet financial guidelines.

We obtain food though a variety of sources. In the first eight months of 2011 the Mountaineer Food Bank provided 6,011 pounds of USDA food (mainly canned goods) at no cost; 3,000 pounds (mainly meat) were purchased from them. In the first eight months 2011 we purchased 5,727 pounds of food from Cornerstone IGA compared to 9,839 pounds in the same time period this year. All together we have distributed nearly 9’/2 tons of food this year. The amount of food received from Mountaineer Food Bank has decreased significantly over the last three months as the Farm Bill expired, and the replacement bill has not been reconciled and signed into law. In addition, community groups have taken up food collections for the food locker.

We are asking for support from the very generous folks in the Lewisburg area. We are able to purchase food at a reduced cost so a financial contribution is always welcomed. Make checks payable to the Lewisburg Food Pantry and send them in care of the Old Stone Church, 200 Church Street, Lewisburg. Perhaps you or a group can collect food for the Pantry which can be brought to the church during business hours, Monday through Friday. We prefer non-perishable canned goods such as fruit, vegetables, meat, pasta, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, and dry goods such as beans, rice or cereal. We cannot accept fresh foods as we have no way to store them. Out-of-date foods cannot be used.

As we look forward, we continue to rely on the support of local churches. As volunteers we will do fund-raising, and finally, we sincerely hope that more assistance will come from community members and groups so that no one in our area will suffer from a lack of food.

Submitted by Bill & Gloria Martin