Throughout Appalachia, struggling families and the elderly and disabled getting by month to month on meager fixed incomes often have to make a difficult choice: pay their utility bills, rent — or put food on the table for themselves and their children.
But this month, we hope to be able to ease their burden by shipping a total 2,300 boxes of non-perishable food items to 10 of our partners in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Each box containing chunk chicken breast, tuna, canned chili, mixed fruit, assorted vegetables, rice, pasta, beans, peanut butter, cornflower, canola oil, raisins, dried fruit and more, weighs about 20 pounds – enough to feed a family of four for a week or more at a cost of just $34 each.
As we can, thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®, throughout the year we ship thousands of these boxes of food to our partners to help those most needy in their communities with that little “hand up” which means so much to them in helping them get through the month.
Among them is our longtime partner, Big Creek People in Action in McDowell County, West Virginia, which received 220 boxes and distributed earlier this year.
“We called our clients served through our Family Assistance Pantry to come and pick up their boxes,” reported BCPIA co-executive director Dyanne Spriggs. “The boxes were great because they had lots of nonperishable items that didn’t require refrigeration.”
While, of course, all the recipients were grateful, one in particular stood out in Dyanne’s mind.
“Addie is an older lady who is taking care of her young grandson,” she told us. “She called us to say how much she liked the food box, and how much she appreciated what we do for the community. She was running low on food and the box had lots of things she could use to make dinner for her grandchild.”
Dyanne went on to note that McDowell County “has the highest food insecurity rate in the state at nearly 20 percent. There are many risk factors for hunger in southern West Virginia including poverty, living in a rural area, and lack of regular access to affordable, nutritious foods.
“We would like to thank the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® for helping to fight hunger by providing these food boxes – and supporting our community during this terrible pandemic.”