Community Harvest Food Drive set

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Food collected will go to Lawrence County pantries

PROCTORVILLE — The Community Harvest Food Drive will be Oct. 28-30 to collect food for the hungry in Lawrence County.

“Clearly, there is a need, and all the food collected will remain in the community,” said Wendy Jenkins, manager of the Proctorville Kroger. The food will be distributed to the Community Mission Outreach and RMA food pantries in Proctorville and Chesapeake.

The theme of the food drive is “Neighbors helping Neighbors in Our Hometowns.”

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According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, more than 14,500 people in Lawrence County qualify for SNAP.

Approximately 12,500 people fall below the established poverty line.

That is 20.6 percent, compared to the Ohio average of 16 percent. The percentage of children living in poverty in Lawrence County is 28.5, compared to the Ohio average of 22.7 percent.

“The need in our end of Lawrence County is larger than most people think,” said Cheryl Bradford, who runs the RMA Food Pantry. “The average citizen doesn’t see the need. I am amazed at the number of people who ‘fall through the cracks’ and go hungry in our community.”

Community Mission Outreach provides food for approximately 850 individuals a month, said Don Moore, director of the organization.

“We provide the equivalent of 17,500 meals a month. In a typical year, we assist needy families 4,200 times, totaling about 11,640 people.”

The public is asked to bring non-perishable food items to the Proctorville Kroger or the Ohio University Southern Ironton campus at the following times:

• 1-6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28;

• 9-5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29;

• 9-5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 30.

Both food pantries are sponsored by churches in the eastern end of the County.

“The churches in the community are strong supporters of the food pantries, and we are eager to get involved in making the food drive a success,” said Dr. Ricky Ray, pastor of The Crossing Baptist Church.

The food drive is sponsored by the Proctorville Kroger, Ohio University Southern, Proctorville and Ironton, the churches of Proctorville and County Commissioner Freddie Hayes, who is providing a box truck for the three-day drive.

“Feeding the hungry is Kroger’s number one charitable mission, and we are delighted that so many community partners are joining us in the food drive,” said Jenkins.