Lawrence County to get mobile food pantry visit from HAFB

Published 9:53 am Friday, November 16, 2012

According to Feeding America, 16 percent of Lawrence County residents are food insecure.

That means more than 10,000 people in this county don’t always know where their next meal will come from.

In an effort to bridge the meal gap in Lawrence County, the Huntington Area Food Bank will have its first mobile pantry giveaway in Ironton.

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Erin Highlander, interim director of development for the HAB, said the organization has a goal to meet the needs of at least 50 percent of the food insecure population, but always strives to reach a greater number of people. The HAB serves 17 counties in the Tri-State.

“In the past, we have provided 9.5 pounds of food per person in poverty in Lawrence County,” Highlander said. “Obviously, we want to bring that number up.”

The mobile food pantry will begin with registration at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the River Hills Community Building on South Ninth Street and Madison Avenue. The food giveaway will begin at 10 a.m.

There are no income requirements for the giveaway, but participants must bring a photo ID and proof of residency, such as a utility bill.

For elderly or disabled people who want to participate but can’t get to the food drive, Highlander said someone can pick up the food for that person. They just need to have a notarized letter of consent, a copy of a photo ID for the person to receive the food, and proof of residency.

Doug Price, director of operations at the HAB, estimated about 2,700 pounds of food would be delivered for the food giveaway, but that number is likely to increase.

“That number will go up depending on the produce,” Price said.

In addition to produce, Price said the giveaway would include several types of bread, gravy mix and sliced ham and turkey lunchmeats in 2-pound packs.

Price also estimated 50 to 100 people would take advantage of the giveaway. At a recent giveaway in Wayne County, W.Va., Price said the HAB serviced about 128 families, more than 350 people, with a mobile pantry giveaway.

Highlander said there would be more mobile pantry giveaways in Lawrence County in the coming months, but the ultimate goal is to create a foundation for permanent and sustainable pantries in the county.

Highlander also said people interested in starting a food pantry can contact the HAB for more information at (304) 532-6029.