With the approach of Easter and the celebrations that surround the Holiday, families across the county will be visiting grocery stores to stock up for another big meal. Yet, even as we all head out to fill our shopping carts, many residents of Clarke County do not have enough to eat. These people rely on food banks to provide meals and essential items. However, the food reserves are dwindling at the Clarke County food bank and they need your help to make sure essential food is available for the needy families in Clarke County.
The Clarke County Social Services Office stands near the railroad track on East Main Street in Berryville and provides all manner of assistance for residents of Clarke County. However, the food bank that is available within the offices is stocked by the not-for-profit organization FISH of Clarke County. FISH is a group of people banded together who have been helping neighbors and families in Clarke County since 1969. FISH reaches out to volunteers and organizations to provide stocks for the food pantry to ensure that food is available to anyone who needs it. Several local organizations in the community provide help by running annual food drives to add to the reserves, but currently the pantry is experiencing a gap in contributions and needs help from the residents of Clarke County.
“Despite the fact that they say the economy is getting better we still have a lot of people around here who are unemployed,” said Bonnie Snyder who volunteers at Social Services and is a member of the Board of Directors for FISH. “The unemployed rely on the food bank to help them get through tough times.” There are many others in the community who are in need of the food bank as well.
Bonnie talked about the specific needs that the pantry encounters and the kinds of donations they are looking for. “We need pasta and sauce, mac and cheese, and especially complete meals in a box.” The food pantry also provides products that people need but can’t be purchased with food stamps. “We need paper products, like paper towels and toilet paper. We also provide items like toothpaste, shampoo, and laundry detergent because they are essential items but can be expensive when money is tight.”
In response to this need we are calling on the readers of the Clarke Daily News to help stock the food bank. Social Services Offices are open from 8:30 – 4:30 Monday through Friday at 311 East Main Street, Berryville. Buy an extra bag of groceries and stop by the office and drop them off. The list of specific items the food bank is looking for include the following:
- Pasta and sauce
- Macaroni and cheese
- Sliced bread
- Fruit Juice
- Sugar free foods for diabetics
- Betty Crocker Complete Meals
- Paper Towels
- Toilet Paper
- Hand Soap
- 1 gallon ziplock bags
Bring donations by the office during business hours. If you are making a large donation please call their office at (540) 955-3700, so staff can make preparations.
This is a great way to make a real difference in our community, and it’s easy. Make it a part of your regular routine and drop off a bag of food. Set-up a collection in your workplace, or among neighbors and friends.
I’m dropping off my bag this morning. Please help if you are able.