PARKERSBURG- Equipment ranging from new shelving to a commercial range with 10 burners was given to 14 feeding programs Friday from money raised in Wal-Mart's Fight Hunger Together Facebook campaign during April.
In the program, food was collected at local Wal-Mart stores and Facebook users were encouraged to go to the Wal-Mart Facebook page and vote for one of the 200 communities with the highest rate of unemployment. Parkersburg finished ninth in the voting and received a $50,000 grant.
During April votes were cast on the Wal-Mart Facebook to select the top 20 out of 200 cities in the nation with the highest unemployment rates, as identified by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
The Friendship Kitchen at North Parkersburg Baptist Church was the recipient of a new commercial range with 10 burners. The range was delivered to the kitchen on Friday and is ready for installation. From left are Gordie Monroe, assistant manager at Lowe’s; Susie Meredith, Friendship Kitchen; Chad Morrison, Mountaineer Food Bank; Tracy Carpenter, manager of the Vienna Wal-Mart; Kevin Ohse, manager of the south Parkersburg Wal-Mart; Basil McClung, Friendship Kitchen; Paul Witkosky, Friendship Kitchen, and Frank Meredith, Friendship Kitchen.
The Parkersburg area received 6,876 votes and took ninth place in the top 20 finalists.
Mountaineer Food Bank worked with Wal-Mart, the 14 feeding programs and Lowe's in south Parkersburg to purchase the needed items for each program.
Mountaineer Food Bank serves 48 counties in West Virginia through a network of more than 600 feeding programs that include food pantries, shelters, youth programs, senior programs and back pack programs.
Local programs receiving equipment were Old Man Rivers, Christ United Methodist Church, Baptist Temple, Children's Home Society, Peer Support, North Parkersburg Baptist Church, Parkersburg Urban Ministries, Mid-Ohio Valley American Red Cross, Church of the Good Shepherd, Integrated Community Services, Beechwod Presbyterian Church, Fairlawn Baptist Church, First Lutheran Church and By the Grace of God.
One of the beneficiaries was the Friendship Kitchen of North Parkersburg Baptist Church, which serves 2,000 meals each week. The Vulcan 10-burner gas range with two ovens will cut down on the amount of time it will take to prepare meals.
For the past 11 years Friendship Kitchen has been using two household grade stoves.
Susie Meredith, of the Friendship Kitchen, said the range was delivered to the kitchen Friday and they are looking forward to using it, but have to wait for installation.
"We have to have the range hood and fire suppression system installed by licensed plumbers and electricians and the range must also be installed by a licensed plumber so the warranty will be in effect," she said. "We can't wait to start using it; our old ranges are falling apart."
Meredith said the kitchen serves lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Kevin Ohse, manager of the south Parkersburg Wal-Mart, said the $20,000 was set aside so the community would benefit from the money.
Chad Morrison, food resource coordinator for Mountaineer Food Bank, said the money purchased eight refrigerators, five freezers, one commercial range, one smaller range, shelving, one food processor, a cookware set and hand trucks.