Food pantries in need of donations

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Meat, peanut butter, cereal among items most sought

One local minister was dismayed after he stopped by a couple of local food pantries and found empty shelves and freezers.

The Rev. Robert Hale, the pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene and president of the Ironton Ministerial Association, had gotten a phone call from a family in need. He told them about Harvest for the Hungry food pantry. He contacted Lois Terkhorn, a volunteer with the pantry, about the family and then later in the day stopped by the food pantry to see if the family had come by.

“And while I was there, they showed me all the empty shelves and freezers,” Hale said. He decided to go over the Central Christian food pantry and find out how they were doing. “When I went over there, I saw the same thing. Their shelves aren’t bare, but they have five freezers that are empty.”

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Hale said he wants the community to be aware of the need and to help if they can. He said he realizes everyone in the United States is focused on Texas and the devastation from Hurricane Harvey and how figuring out how to help. He added his church is taking up a collection to send money, rather than supplies.

“And I felt like our community needs to know we have needs in our own backyard, that people are hungry,” Hale said. “There were 500 families taken care of just through Harvest for the Hungry, and that number doesn’t include the City Mission or Central Christian food pantry.”

Hale said right now the main thing the food pantries are in need of is meat.

“They never get any meat,” he said, adding that Harvest for the Hungry is actually giving out Army Meals Ready To Eat that has canned meat in it. “Lois said that if ground meat is on sale and people would buy a pound, they could give that to families.”

Hale said one thing he would like to do is contact hunters who might have gotten more deer than they need.

“They will take deer meat, but it has to be processed,” he said. “So I am going to figure out how to connect with them. But to have a deer processed professionally costs about $65. So my next goal is to find people who are willing to donate the money to have it processed. The hunter has to pay for the deer tag.”

The food pantries are always looking for items like  peanut butter and cereal.

Hale is also suggesting that people who have had successful gardens might consider donating their surplus to the food pantries.

“If they have more produce than they can use and would like to donate that, Harvest for the Hungry would love to have that,” he said.

For delivery times for donations, call Harvest for the Hungry at 740-646-4188 or Central Christian at 740-533-1847.