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Food pantry schedules silent auction, dinner

Harvest for the Hungry’s second annual dinner and silent auction will be on Saturday, Aug. 18.

The event, benefitting the food pantry, will take place at the First Church of the Nazarene, located 2818 S. 4th St. in Ironton, with the doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

Attendees will be treated to music by Sasha Colette, a local singer songwriter from Olive Hill, Kentucky, who has played varied venues and has opened for Ronnie Milsap.

Dinner will consist of pulled pork or chicken with BBQ sauce, baked beans, Cole slaw, hot German potato salad and mustard potato salad, deviled eggs, coffee or tea and assorted desserts.

Some items available for auction include a watercolor donated by a Dayton artist, Cincinnati Reds tickets, a Saturday night get away in Marietta, two signed photos of Bobby Bare, three signed Bobby Bare CDs, a signed pilot script from the hit series “Reverie” by Mickey Fisher, a Marshall University themed basket, a handmade cross stitch picture, a handmade quilt, punch bowl and cups, and a Mossy Oak dish set.

Various items are posted on the pantry’s Facebook page.

Tickets are available at Harvest for Hungry on Monday and Wednesday, from 9 a.m. until noon, First United Methodist Church, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-p.m., and Unger Shoes during regular business hours.

Tickets are $10 per person and $12 at the door.

“The need is great,” Harvest director Diane Porter said. “One in six people in Lawrence County suffers from food insecurity, ranking our county as one of the most in need of assistance in Ohio. It is a constant challenge to have enough money to operate our pantry.”

Porter said, in addition to donations and grants the pantry seeks, volunteers also conduct many fundraisers during the year.

Recent projects have included giving out various food items once a month at the Ironton Farmers’ Market for donations (with help from the Southern Chapter of the Ohio University Alumni Association, participating in the United States Postal Service Stamp Out Hunger food drive, selling desserts every other Friday at the Knights of Columbus dinners and going door to door to downtown and area businesses to raise the money to provide Thanksgiving baskets for 550 families.

During 2017, the pantry served over 17,000 people: 5,738 families, 2,785 senior citizens, 5,147 children, and 9,071 other adults.

Clients are provided a three-day pre-pack service every 60 days, but the pantry has recently gone back to a monthly service.

Porter said this is a leap of faith that will require more donations, but feels it is a needed change for our clients.

“We stretch every dollar that we have and search for the best food prices for the basket items that cannot be obtained from the twice weekly trips to the Facing Hunger Food Bank (rescue food — fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery, and dairy), the monthly deliveries from the Southeastern Ohio Food Bank (USDA and Ohio Food Program food) or other local donations,” she said.