The 2019 Winter Food Distribution Program will run each Saturday from January 12 to March 30, Elaine Harris, chair of United Food Operation (UFO), has announced. The season’s kickoff event will take place on Friday, Jan. 11.
The need for food increases during the winter heating season when higher utility bills tend to put stress on family budgets.
“There is a lot of very generous giving by churches and charities during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, and that really helps the food pantries get through the end of the year,” Harris explained, “but United Food Operation fills in the rest of the winter when other donations slow down. It’s something we’ve been doing since 1982, and we’ve found it works well and is greatly appreciated by the pantries.”
Food pantries provide an important safety net in our region that is well utilized. Food pantry leaders say they are seeing a lot of people line up at their locations each day they are open. The need for food has been steady. They offer families whatever they can, though the selection of food is often limited. UFO supplies the types of non-perishable food that the pantries need most.
Operating out of its distribution center at the Institute Industrial Park the program will help keep food on the shelves at it 12 participating food pantries in Kanawha and Putnam Counties.