Mountaineer Food Bank provides food and hope

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Dear Editor:

West Virginia is a state of many treasures including magnificent forests, stunning landscapes and charming small towns. Among the brightest of our treasures is our people. West Virginia is full of resilient, dedicated and proud individuals that when faced with adversity, come together to support one another, to support our state.

In June 2016, Mountaineer Food Bank became involved in flood relief that affected more than a quarter of the state. The floods caused 20 deaths, destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, and for many stopped the world. As a member of WV, Mountaineer Food Bank distributed over 1 million pounds of food and water over the next 8 weeks.

Our work connected us to thousands of people.

West Virginians that no longer lived here called, donated and volunteered. Neighboring food banks sent truckloads of food and cleaning supplies. Our member agencies went to work. The response was rapid unlike any I had ever experienced.

The people of West Virginia shined.

It is because of those people that I have great hope for our work in hunger relief. On a daily basis, Mountaineer Food Bank distributes over 44,000 meals to hungry people. In 2016, 11,420,000 meals were distributed (13.7 million pounds of food) through our network of member agencies.

The challenges that those in poverty face are heavy, with nutritious food often being on the chopping block, when faced with those tough choices. 1 in 6 people in West Virginia will ask that question… can we afford to eat today?

Through our member network and programs like our Veterans Food Pantry, School Food Pantries and Mobile Pantry, Mountaineer Food Bank has become well positioned to push farther than ever before in meeting the meal gap in West Virginia. These programs, along with new intervention programs for seniors, will allow us to access the most vulnerable populations in our state.

In 2017, our push to meet the meal gap will reach new heights with 12,500,000 meals needing distributed, over 15 million pounds of food. We will continue to need your help to accomplish this monumental task. Please visit our website http://www.mountaineerfoodbank.org to learn about our work and how to donate time, food or funds.

J. Chad Morrison, executive director
Mountaineer Food Bank