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Washington County food pantry helping needy

MARIETTA — Since its inception in a little building in Barlow, the Western Washington County Food Pantry has helped feed those in need.

“We’ve been fortunate since the food pantry started,” Linda Allen, pantry director, said. “People have really backed us. We also have a thrift store and money from the thrift store goes back in to buy food.”

The pantry on 18 High St., Vincent, is open from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays. Food boxes are available for residents of western Washington County.

“We only serve four different townships and you have to have residence in one of those townships,” said volunteer Rose Santee of Warren Township. “We get all variety of people. There’s a lot of elderly that come in because their pension or Social Security doesn’t last very long. There’s also families where someone lost a job and they’re looking for help.”

Allen said the pantry has helped 20 families so far this month.

“Before all this happened and before people got extra food stamps, 40 or 45 families were helped a month,” she said. “A lot of people with big families are probably receiving a lot of food stamps, so they don’t need food.”

She said their community has been good to the food pantry, so each client is getting more food than before.

“As of right now, we are in good shape, except for meat,” Allen said. “We can always use laundry detergent and shampoo. We make sure we give out shampoo, laundry detergent, dish washing soap, toothpaste, toilet paper and bars of soap.”

Along with personal care items, boxes could contain items such as canned vegetables, scalloped potatoes, rice, dried beans, tuna, soup, canned fruit, peanut butter and jelly, ketchup, mayonnaise, pancake mix and syrup, cooking oil, sugar, and spaghetti and sauce, Allen said.

“There are also odds and ends of crackers, Pop-Tarts and stuff,” she said. “We got to Witten (Farm) in Barlow and pick up their leftover tomatoes. We’re giving out fresh vegetables now, too.”

Santee said she enjoys her time volunteering at the pantry.

“It feels good being out here to help,” she said. “I’m a part of Tunnel United Methodist Church. There’s four of us that come out and help at different times. You just find more new friends and listen to them and chat with them and make them feel welcome.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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Western Washington County Food Pantry

* Hours: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays; 1 to 3 p.m. Thursdays

* Location: 18 High St., Vincent

* Available to: Western Washington County townships

Source: Linda Allen

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