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Organization donates $50K to food banks in Washington, Wood counties

Pictured from left are Ben Isham, grants and contracts manager of Southeast Ohio Foodbank; Telah Taylor, Hunger Solutions Mid-Ohio Valley secretary; Kevin Eagan, Hunger Solutions Mid-Ohio Valley treasurer; and Sherry Hill, Marietta Community Food Pantry director. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — Hunger Solutions Mid-Ohio Valley, an organization that aims to eliminate hunger in Washington and Wood counties, donated $50,000 Friday to support local food banks in Parkersburg and Marietta.

“Hunger Solutions is committed to combat hunger in the Mid-Ohio Valley, as we know the impact that food insecurity can have on individuals and families in our community,” said DeeAnn Gehlauf, the president of the organization.

Approximately $34,000 was presented to assist the Southeast Ohio Food Bank specifically for different food banks in Washington County at the Marietta Community Food Pantry on Friday morning.

“We would like to thank Hunger Solutions Mid-Ohio Valley for their continued commitment in the fight against hunger in Washington County,” said Ben Isham, grants and contracts manager of Southeast Ohio Foodbank. “These funds will help our member food pantries keep their shelves stocked to feed their communities.”

Later in the day, $16,000 was presented to the Mountaineer Food Bank to support different Wood County food banks at Old Man Rivers Food Pantry.

Pictured from left are Kevin Eagan, Hunger Solutions Mid-Ohio Valley treasurer; Laura Hedrick, strategic gifts officer for Mountaineer Food Bank and Paige Smith, board member of Hunger Solutions Mid-Ohio Valley. They stand in front of Old Man Rivers Food Pantry. (Photo by Jenna Pierson)

“Especially with COVID, the needs have increased tenfold,” said Laura Hedrick, strategic gifts officer for Mountaineer Food Bank. “There’s a lot of clients who are going to benefit from this. We are extremely grateful for this money and we are going to put it to good use.”

According to Feeding America, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was estimated that 42 million people nationwide may experience food insecurity in 2021.

Hunger Solutions of the Mid-Ohio Valley was established in 2012 and has donated over $400,000 to provide nutritious food to the community and over $175,000 to provide nutrition education to students in the community. Founding partners of the organization include Peoples Bank, Memorial Health System, Marietta College and Brickler & Eckler.

Jenna Pierson can be reached at jpierson@newsandsentinel.com

Old Man Rivers volunteer Hope Harmon packs fresh produce into boxes for recipients on Friday. Old Man Rivers Food Pantry was one of the recipients of the donations to Mountaineer Food Bank on behalf of Hunger Solutions Mid-Ohio Valley for Wood County. (Photo by Jenna Pierson)

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