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Food donations are needed

We don’t want to think much about it, but there are families here in the Mid-Ohio Valley who struggle with food insecurity, who are hungry. There are parents who eat a little less, maybe skip a meal or five, so their kids will get enough to eat. There are older folks and those who are housebound who must very carefully plan and rely not just on food banks and soup kitchens — but on organizations that will deliver those meals or groceries.

If you think it is not happening here, maybe even to someone you know, you are fooling yourself.

But there are ways we can help.

One of those ways is by participating in food drive events like the one being held from 9 a.m to noon Saturday (Oct. 24) here at the News and Sentinel parking lot at 519 Juliana St., Parkersburg. It is a drive-thru event, organized in partnership with the Marine Corps Veterans Association, and will benefit the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 32 Food Pantry and the Old Man Rivers Food Pantry.

If you have canned or jarred goods, boxes of pasta … anything non-perishable … local veterans organizations will be on hand to safely collect it — and to remind us that they are STILL serving.

Come to think of it, if you don’t have any of those things on hand, there is likely to be a grocery store on your route toward the newspaper parking lot where you could pick up a few things. When you drop off your donations, don’t forget to thank the men and women who are working at the event on behalf of their respective military service organizations.

Again, they are still displaying the same willingness to serve others that drove them to sign up for the military in the first place. The least we can do is pull together a few food items to drop off on a Saturday morning before the football games start.

Meanwhile, there is another organization giving West Virginians a way to feed each other. But this one’s a little different. Hunters Helping the Hungry has been around for nearly 30 years, and has been supported since 2008 by the Governor’s One Shot Committee. It raises money and encourages hunters to donate harvested deer to benefit food banks. Funds raised help pay for the processing of donated deer.

Since the start of the program, hunters and participating processors have designated 27,066 deer for donation, which has meant 1.4 million meals for families and individuals in West Virginia. This year, the need may be even greater. If you are able, consider participating. For more on that program, call 304-558-2754.

I’ve seen plenty of Bible verses used for political purposes these last several weeks, and frankly, it turns my stomach. But here’s one meant to turn your heart, from Matthew 25. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.”

That’s it. Taking care of each other and doing the right thing for our fellow human beings isn’t the territory of a political party. If someone needs food and you are able, feed them.

I’ll see you at the food drive.

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Christina Myer is executive editor of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. She can be reached via e-mail at cmyer@newsandsentinel.com

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