PARKERSBURG - A local food pantry serving veterans and their families is making a plea for donations.
Demand has sharply increased to where the pantry operated by Disabled American Veterans Chapter 32 in the former Murphytown School can't keep up, contributions organizer John Danielski for the Mid-Ohio Valley Veterans Support Group. More than 100 veterans were helped within the last month, he said.
"And it's getting worse," Danielski said.
John Danielski explains the demand on the veterans food pantry
Food pantries throughout the region have reported greater usage for the past few years since the recession started. The economy remains the primary reason, too, why veterans are seeking help from the pantry, Danielski said.
"It's gotten to the point where they can either pay their utilities, or buy food," he said.
The support group is collecting items for VFW Post 1212 in Parkersburg and DAV Chapter 32, Danielski said. Non-perishable items such as canned soups, stews and tuna fish, powdered milk, peanut butter and jelly and condiments, and personal hygiene items such as toilet paper and soap, are needed.
Drop off points are located around Wood and Washington counties, including Post 1212 on Garfield Avenue, First American Cash Advance on Washington Boulevard, Dollar General on Seventh Street, Kroger's and Foodlands, Danielski said.
"I'm still working on more," he said.
The food bank serves only veterans and checks records in doing so, he said. Others are sent to other agencies for help, Danielski said.
"We lead them to the right place," Danielski said.
Food banks have seen an increased demand of greater than 35 percent, said Carla Nardella, manager of the Mountaineer Food Bank in Gassaway. The Mountaineer serves 48 counties serving more than 500 pantries, feeding programs, day-care shelters, after-school programs and senior nutrition sites.
People working minimum-wage jobs are having the hardest time making ends meet, she said.
"There's not enough funds there to cover all their expenses," she said.
For more information, contact Danielski at 304-488-5406.