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Harvest for the Hungry gets large donation

The Tribune/Brandon Roberts Harvest for the Hungry food pantry volunteer Michael Hampton, left, looks on as pantry director Diane Porter, center, and Grandma’s Gifts founder Emily Douglas-McNab discuss distribution of a large donation of diapers, blankets, books, shoes and detergent.

The Tribune/Brandon Roberts
Harvest for the Hungry food pantry volunteer Michael Hampton, left, looks on as pantry director Diane Porter, center, and Grandma’s Gifts founder Emily Douglas-McNab discuss distribution of a large donation of diapers, blankets, books, shoes and detergent.

Columbus-based Grandma’s Gifts secures basic needs for pantry

Several pallets fully loaded with blankets, diapers, books, detergent and shoes on Wednesday arrived at the Harvest for the Hungry food pantry in Ironton.

The basic needs were secured by Columbus-based Grandma’s Gifts, a charity organization that works to provide goods and services to children and families in Appalachia, from Alexandria, Virginia-based Americans for Americans, which partners with local organizations to provide food, clothing, blankets, emergency medical assistance and more for people in need.

“If we can help someone with this stuff then we’ve done a good thing,” Michael Hampton, a volunteer at Harvest for the Hungry, said. “It’s good that we got these because I have friends who live underneath the bridge.”

What doesn’t get given out at the pantry is given to the city mission.

“We keep paying it forward,” Diane Porter, director of Harvest for the Hungry, said. “All of this will get to someone one way or another and we love knowing that.”

Grandma’s Gifts, founded by Emily Douglas-McNab in 1993 in memory of her grandmother, Norma Ackison, works to provide goods and services to children and families in Appalachia. To date, more than $12 million in goods and services have been provided. Additionally, more than 650,000 books have been donated to needy children, daycares, hospitals and libraries; more than 10,000 pounds of food have been given to families, domestic violence shelters and food pantries. Volunteer youth and young adults run the organization.

“Since 1993 Grandma’s Gifts has worked specifically with individuals and organizations residing within the Appalachian region,” Douglas-McNab wrote on her website. “Specifically, we work to support individuals and organizations in northern and central Appalachia.

“This means that we support individuals in Appalachian counties in the states of Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York and Maryland. Yearly we prioritize our giving and use data to do this.”

Douglas-McNab has worked with Americans Helping Americans in the past; the same organization has donated thousands of turkeys to residents of Appalachian counties through Grandma’s Gifts.

“It’s been a couple of years but we are hoping they will donate again this year,” she said. “Lynd’s is donating apples for Thanksgiving again this year.”

Douglas-McNab’s family is from Ironton and her charity routinely donates to Harvest for the Hungry and many other clothing and food pantries in Appalachia.