Food Banks Running Low Following Storm

By: Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Brooks Jarosz Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- With monster storm Sandy leaving thousands without power, the challenge may be finding food. However, food banks across the state are struggling to restock their shelves.

Walk in to any food bank and you'll see something is missing. Shelves and refrigerators at the Covenant House food pantry are more than low; they're bare.

"We got two refrigerators here -- they're all empty," volunteer Claude Churchwell said. "We're seeing a more and more people -- a lot of new faces."

With the recent storm, the demand is way up. Workers at the Mountain Mission are busy picking and packing boxes of canned good, condiments and macaroni. But the food is going out much faster than it's coming in, and that has organizers sounding the alarm.

"I think everyone needs to put themselves in the position of need so that they can know if they do their part, everybody wins," Mountain Mission Executive Director Janice Amspoker said. "Everybody benefits if everybody does their part."

"We don't have any power, but that's all temporary," Jerry Rollins said. "And I'm glad they've got the doors open for people like us that need help."

In Charleston, several food pantries have already cut back on the amount of food they're passing out, even pouring in the money from the operational budget to help starving families.

"It makes me feel good inside that there's people who care for people," Rollins said.

Claude Churchwell has been volunteering for more than a decade and has seen a major decline in donations.

"I really enjoying doing it, but it's heartbreaking when you don't have the food to give out," Claude Churchwell said.

He's hoping for help to fight hunger in what many consider a growing problem.

If you want to give, any food pantry will accept non perishable items. They will also take donations. Mountain Mission in Charleston desperately need baby formula, wipes and diapers.

To see where the nearest food pantry is to you, click on the Featured Links here at

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