MOV Fellowship Home hopes to expand pantry

This space, currently a breezeway, will be the location for the new pantry at the Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home. A campaign is underway to collect funds for the project. (Photo by Candice Black)

PARKERSBURG — The Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home is working on a campaign to raise funds for an expansion of its food pantry.

The Fellowship Home is a residential recovery program for those who struggle with substance abuse issues.

Clients alternate chores and it’s the responsibility for one person to cook dinner for the residents for an entire week. The idea is to provide a larger pantry to store food and create an organizational system to plan out meals and label baskets with each ingredient they will need to cook that meal.

“We have a space out back under our breezeway that we think will work for a pantry to be able to put the meals together and just have little baskets; they can just pull the whole basket and their meal is there,” said Brenda Myers, women’s house manager.

This expansion will help teach the clients how to plan meals and budget their food purchases, Myers said.

“We would assist them in preplanning, having everything together to make sure they have everything they need for the meal they’re going to cook that night,” Myers said.

Steve Ball, men’s house manager, and Myers came up with the idea. The current pantry doesn’t have enough space to accommodate what would be needed to plan weekly meals, Myers said.

“It’s to show them to preplan; you’re not out there shopping every day,” she said.

Staff members teach the clients life skills to encourage healthier lifestyles.

“Some of them know how to cook, some of them have never cooked before,” Myers said.

Patrice Pooler, executive director, says they sometimes end up with five star chefs.

Since the house includes around 45 clients, supplies are necessary to cook on more of a commercial level, Pooler said.

“We just need to get the food pantry up to the commercial level,” she said. “We’re really just trying to organize it and maximize the space that we have so that we can offer more services.”

Ten-thousand dollars is needed for the project to build the space and make sure it’s climate controlled and insulated. Deep freezers will be a part of the expansion. So far, $4,680 has been raised, 46 percent of the goal.

“Even a $5 donation helps. I think sometimes people think if they don’t have a large amount that it won’t matter, but it really does,” Pooler said.

Donations can be made online through the website, movfh.org or they can be dropped off at the home at 1030 George St. in Parkersburg.