HAFB continues to make presence known in county

Published 12:41 am Sunday, December 30, 2012

CHESAPEAKE — Nearly 100 local families were served this week by the Huntington Area Food Bank and its mobile pantry program — the second such visit to Lawrence County from the non-profit organization.

Just less than 6,000 pounds of food was delivered and distributed at the Greasy Ridge Church of Christ in Chesapeake Thursday. In addition to cereal, bread and produce, undistributed holiday turkeys and meat donated from Ballard Farms was given out.

Erin Highlander, interim director of development for the HAFB, said there were larger families to participate this month than last month.

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In November, the mobile pantry visited the Riverhills Community Building in Ironton and served just under 400 families.

By the end of January, Highlander said, updated quarterly numbers should show the impact of the mobile deliveries and who has been participating.

“It takes a good bit of time, doing this every month, to make a significant change,” she said.

Highlander said the goal of the mobile pantry is not only to deliver food to those in need, but to work to seek local organizations that will establish permanent food banks in the area. Until Lawrence County can sustain itself with permanent pantries, Highlander said the mobile pantries will continue once a month at different locations.

In 2012 the HAFB handed out more than 4.7 million pounds of food to nearly 100,000 food insecure people living in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

The HAFB was also recently awarded a spot the “Guinness Book of World Records” for the world’s largest donation of baked goods. ViSalus donated 52,000 pounds of its all-natural “mini-meal” Nutra-Cookies in September.

Since then the food bank has worked to hand out the 420,000 individually wrapped cookies. Each cookie contains nine grams of protein, a full serving of fiber, calcium and fruit and vegetable nutrients.