Local food pantry watches needs grow through pandemic

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. – The St. Ursula Food Pantry and Outreach has been working in a new environment to keep food on the table of many less fortunate. Today, the model of food distribution has transformed into a delivery system made up of nonprofits, the West Virginia National Guard and county workers.

“When the health department becomes aware of a family that has tested positive, they make a request through the United Way for a food pantry to respond,” Virginia Aultman-Moore from the St. Ursula Food pantry and Outreach said. .

Aultman-Moore says Food boxes are given to the health department for delivery so COVID-19 positive residents don’t have to go out into the community for necessary items.

People in need due to soaring unemployment and the pandemic have increased their workload drastically and the Mountaineer Food Bank has been a vital part of keeping food in the households of many Mon County residents.

“They have the National Guard packing special food boxes that they make available to us,’ Aultman-Moore said,”So, we picked up about 150 of those boxes two weeks ago and we continue to distribute those.”

Aultman-Moore says they have had to make several operational changes along the way to make sure everyone is safe.

“Many of the volunteers that we rely on are retired people over 70-years-old and we don’t want to put them at risk,” Aultman-Moore said,” We’ve had to retool our whole process for bringing in and distributing food under these circumstances.”

She says members of the community have made meeting these unmet needs much easier in many cases.

“Right now we’re just grateful we can keep on going and grateful for the support the community has shown us,” Aultman-Moore said.

Community members considering a donation can refer to this list:

  1. Meal kits that don’t require extra ingredients
  2. Pancake or muffin mixes that only require water
  3. Canned meat or fruit
  4. Flour, sugar, cornmeal, rice, dry beans, shelf stable milk or juice boxes
  5. Cleaning supplies and paper products
  6. Feminine hygiene products
  7. Diapers and wipes
  8. Laundry and dish soap

St. Ursula Food Pantry & Outreach
[email protected]