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My name is Greg Bailey and I am a volunteer at the Facing Hunger Foodbank in Huntington. I am a retired air traffic controller from Scott Depot and I started working with the food bank in March of 2017 after receiving a newsletter detailing the extraordinary work this non-profit accomplishes. We all hear that there are folks in this great nation that, through no fault of their own, go without an adequate amount of the most basic of needs, food. I was astonished to find out that in seven counties in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, the Facing Hunger Foodbank provides food for nearly 116,000 people, including 2500 elderly through CSFP and 3,800 schoolchildren weekly, many of whom would go hungry over the weekend without the Foodbank Back Pack program. The Foodbank supports many community food pantries, through federal programs and local donations from grocery stores, civic organizations, and people like you and me. Another astonishing fact is that the Foodbank is as close to being non-profit as you can get, with 95 cents of every $1.00 donated going directly to their programs. That is the thing that caught my attention at first, and then I learned “the rest of the story”. It has been my distinct pleasure to be able to give a little of my time to this cause. If you have some free time come on out and join me in helping out. It’s not hard work, and it will be greatly appreciated. I guarantee it.
“This was my vision since I was little. I used to ride down Rt. 60 and see homeless people who needed help. I decided to do this because God opened the door for me to do this.” The door that opened for Anthony Frye, of Culloden Christian Church was that of a food pantry. On Christmas Eve of 2016, Anthony and congregation members opened the doors of their church to help feed those in their community who needed help for the Holidays. Anthony is the Pantry Coordinator (and initiator) of this new endeavor for his church and works very closely with Gwen Southern to oversee the collection and distribution of food and maintains record keeping for the programs they participate in.
“At the time the pantry opened, we had two shelves in a back closet and all of our food came from donations of the church members. Once we saw the demand in this area our pastor reached out to the foodbank so that we could benefit as a member agency” commented Gwen Southern, Pantry Volunteer and church member. Both Anthony and Gwen feel very blessed at how things have fallen into place for their labor of love. Six months after opening, the pantry now has a newly constructed space of its own with shelving, coolers and freezer space, all which came about through the generous donations of time, talents and money from congregation members and the community. Culloden Community Church now participates in three Facing Hunger Foodbank programs including the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) for senior citizens.
“I am just His helper. This is my passion and I had a vision, I just didn’t know how to make it happen so thanks to all of those who have supported us.” ~ Anthony Frye, Culloden Christian Church
Barb is honored to be the Backpack Program Coordinator since 2000. When asked why she is so dedicated to the Backpack Program, she was very humbled with her response as tears began to form, “I do it for the kids. I just enjoy it – the kids, the work, and the community. God put me here”.
As a member of the Huntington Rotary that organized 60 volunteers providing four hours of volunteer service, the need for the foodbank and volunteers was immediately recognized. I encourage each community member to volunteer through the year. The experience will open your eyes and make you appreciate your time spent at the Facing Hunger Foodbank.