Food Pantries Receive Help from Food Drive; More Donations Needed

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Many are still without power and even those who just got it back have to replenish their food supply.

That's where food pantries come in, but with the demand so high they're struggling to meet the need.

An entire truck-load of food and ice was delivered Friday to the Salvation Army in Charleston.

“It’s been a large request over the past few days,” Vandy Justice with the pantry said. “Most of them have lost a lot of goods through the power outages.”

Hundreds of thousands lost power during last week's storms. Since then, many have turned to food pantries for help, and supplies are going fast.

“We're really scrounging around to try to keep up with the demand,” Justice said.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin asked West Virginians to pitch in with a food drive. It resulted in trucks full of food and thousands of dollars for food banks that are working to fill empty pantries across the region.

“I got a call first thing this morning at 8 o'clock,” Leigh Anne Zappin, executive director at the Huntington Area Food Bank, said. “They were thanking me. The phone calls have not stopped. The people are saying, 'Thank you so very much.' ”

The governor's food drive is filling shelves everywhere, but the food is leaving pantries as fast as it's coming in, so there's still a lot of work to be done.

“The food that we collected a couple of days ago is probably already out and in people’s homes,” Tomblin said.

More drives are being planned, but in the meantime, they're asking for all the help they can get.

If you want to help you can simply donate non-perishable items or money to any local food pantry.

If you don't know of any near you, just call the Huntington Area Food Bank at (304) 523-6029. You can also visit its website at

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