By David Esteppe
The Lewisburg – Fairlea Food Locker (LFFL) 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. Bill and Gloria Martin head the LFFL. “We are seeing the need of the working poor increase dramatically, especially within the senior population and people with disabilities,” says Gloria Martin. She added that with the onset of the holiday season, these people and families with children are facing major struggles. They need help.
Gloria Martin explained that LFFL receives food through a variety of sources including the Mountaineer Food Bank in Gassaway; and this particular donation comes at no cost by way of the USDA. With monetary donations, food is purchased from IGA, Kroger and Walmart at heavily discounted pricing. When available, random cans of food collected by local churches, fundraiser or individuals are added to distribution.
A single person may receive one bag of groceries, and a family would receive two bags. Each bag contains frozen meat, canned goods, dry goods such as cereal, beans and macaroni and cheese. Normally food is distributed on the second Saturday of each month. Volunteers from any of the participating churches distribute to the homes. Other people walk into LFFL, which is located in the Fellowship Hall of Old Stone Presbyterian Church.
The LFFL has served as many as 380 people with up to 315 bags of food between July 2013 and October 2014.
LFFL is operated by a consortium of churches including Saint James Episcopal, Old Stone Presbyterian, Saint Louis Catholic Mission, Lewisburg United Methodist Church, John Wesley Methodist, Edgewood Presbyterian, First Baptist-Fairlea, Shuck Memorial Baptist, Rhema Christian Center and Clifton Presbyterian.
Gloria Martin adds, “We look forward to, and rely on the support of local churches and volunteers. Much of the food must be delivered, and we can always use help with that. We sincerely hope that more assistance will come in from community members and groups so that no one in our area will suffer from a lack of food. Please help.”