50,000 pounds of donated food is a blessing

Wow. What a great outpouring of support from the people of Kanawha and Putnam counties. Fifty thousand pounds worth.

“Take a look at all this donated food,” says Elaine Harris, UFO’s chairperson. “It’s a wonderful thing.”

The volunteers who make up United Food Operation and its affiliated food pantries are so thankful for the donations made to the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, May 13, 2017,  conducted by members of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

This lot of donated food will go a long way toward helping provide food security through early summer to folks in our community who need a little help.

Beyond the men and women of National Association of Letter Carriers and U.S. Postal Service, many others came  forward to assist this food drive.

The West Virginia National Guard again brought their trucks to help move food from outlying post offices to the downtown Charleston post office staging area.

Members of Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club help out.
Charleston Firefighters have for many years assisted United Food Operation. Photo by Davenport

Organizations such as Dow, Charleston Firefighters, Kanawha County Drug Court, Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club, food pantry volunteers, and many others showed up to help.

Once U.S. Postal Service and West Virginia National Guard trucks delivered all the food to the Main Post Office, the assembled volunteers loaded it into large shipping boxes.

Box of donated food sits on scale for weighing.

The shipping boxes were then weighed and moved onto a trailer so they could be taken the the United Food Operation warehouse in Institute.

YRC Freight’s North Charleston office provided the tractor-trailer and driver Tom DeMorato out of Teamsters Local 175 to haul the donated food from the Main Post Office over to the United Food Operation warehouse.

Cliff Means, UFO’s Vice-chair, and  Nyiiro Grace from Dow Chemical Company push the first full food bin into the YRL trailer.
UFO Photo by Joe Davenport
Warehouse full of donated food. UFO Photo by Joe Davenport

By Saturday night, 53 large shipping boxes of food fill the United Food Operation warehouse, totaling about 50,000 pounds.

United Food Operation
Loading boxes on pantry truck. Photo by Joe Davenport

On Tuesday morning, panty trucks arrive at the UFO warehouse to pick up boxes of food from the Letter Carriers drive. Twelve local food pantries participate with United Food Operation to receive and distribute this food across Kanawha and Putnam counties.

All in all, it was another wonderful effort by everyone involved. The Charleston-area community came through in a big way.