Category Archives: News Report

News or information reported by other sources

CWA commits to continued service

United Food Operation (UFO) is pleased to announce the continued commitment of Communication Workers of America Local 2001 toward fighting food insecurity in Kanawha and Putnam counties of West Virginia.

UFO Chairperson Elaine Harris recently accepted a $1,000 check from CWA union officers and executive board members in Charleston earlier this month. CWA has been one of the longest-term supporters of the UFO program.

“This type of support from workers in the Charleston region is critical to our success in providing much-needed food and nutrition to less-fortunate families in our area,” Harris said,

Letter carriers, volunteers produce results

Donated food poured into the main Charleston Post Office on Saturday, May 11, as letter carriers and volunteers unloaded the mail delivery vehicles.

United Food Operation (UFO) leader, Elaine Harris, was thankful for the generosity of Charleston area residents.

“The community always steps up to the plate each year for the Stamp Out Hunger food drive,” she said. “And our letter carriers, these men and women work so hard on this effort every year. We truly appreciate their work to collect all this donated food from across the region.”

Harris recognized the hard work of members of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 531. She noted that many of the letter carriers stayed after their shifts ended, helping pack up the food so it could be trucked over to the United Food Operation warehouse for sorting.

“The donated food collected will help provide needed nutrition to many families around Kanawha and Putnam counties. It’s always a pleasure working with the letter carrier food drive leaders, RD Henson and Troy Lahue, on this annual program.”

Beyond NALC members, volunteers from around the areaalso came out to help process the donated foods.

Some of the volunteers included Kanawha County Judges Jennifer Bailey and Lera VanMeter, along with Curt Zickefoose, Lora Walker. and Circuit Court judge candidate Rich Lindsay,

Harris says another group that turns out year after year to help unload food are Charleston Firefighters from IAFF Local 317. They were back in force this year.

As they have for many years, members of the West Virginia Army National Guard used their trucks to help bring in food from remote postal centers and they also delivered the food from the main post office over to the UFO warehouse.

UFO-affiliated food pantry representatives also came out to help. They included Jodie Breitkreutz from Covenant House Charleston and Ted Dues with Enact. Also helping out was Larry Stanley, retired NALC.

UFO board members were out working too. Kay Moffatt helped out at the post office, while Joe Gresham was stationed at the Institute warehouse to receive the trucks delivering food there.

In coming days, the foods will be sorted and then shipped out to the ten UFO-affiliated local food pantries.

American Income Life contribution fights food insecurity

All of us at United Food Operation were so pleased to recently receive a generous contribution from American Income Life. This donation will be used to purchase food, which will help supply a dozen food pantries in Kanawha and Putnam counties of West Virginia.

The check was presented to UFO by Celia “CC” Odell, Public Relations Specialist at American Income Life. Elaine Harris, UFO chair person, received the donation and thanked American Income Life for their help.

“When we receive these contributions from businesses in our area, we can never thank them enough for their kindness,” Harris said. “These funds will be put to use providing food and much-needed nutrition to families in the two counties we serve.”

2022 program kicks off Friday

The 2022 United Food Operation, Inc. (UFO) food drive will officially begin on Friday, January 14, announced Elaine Harris, program chairperson.

“UFO will be marking its 40th year of collecting and distributing food to the participating food pantries,” said Harris. “You are invited to attend the kick off at our UFO warehouse.”

The activities start at 11:00 A.M. with a short program. Representatives of participating food pantries will be in attendance along with invited elected officials from communities in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

The UFO warehouse is located in Institute at the east end of the Altiva Institute Industrial Park. The entrance is directly across Route 25 (Fairlawn Av.) from the Institute Post Office.

On Saturday, following the kickoff, food will begin being distributed to participating food pantries. This activity will continue each Saturday through April 9.

UFO is an independent, all volunteer-staffed, private nonprofit food bank serving Kanawha and Putnam counties

Help needed for Food Drive, May 11

On May 11, 2019 the National Association of Letter Carriers (NACL) will be collecting food in the Kanawha Valley with their Stamp Out Hunger food drive. United Food Operation will again be partnering with the Letter Carriers to distribute the food they collect to 12 food pantries in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

Continue reading Help needed for Food Drive, May 11

Auction items needed for Bid Away Hunger event

Help is needed to obtain nice, new donated items for the Bid Away Hunger event on March 25. Donated items will be used as either silent auction items or game prizes.

bid away hunger

Bid Away Hunger is a fundraiser held at Louie’s Lounge of Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes, WV. The event includes a silent auction and fun and games for participants. A small admission charge gets you in the door. Hors d’oeuvres will be included and there will be a cash bar. All money raised goes to support food distributions of United Food Operation.
bid away hunger

What items are needed?

Event organizer Misti Davis says that just about anything will work. “No item is too big or too small.”

When collecting an item, please obtain the name of donating business/person, person authorizing it, contact number, and retail value of item. Donation acknowledgement thank-you letters will be sent out to the donors.

Davis says you can also collect a few smaller monetary donations and purchase an auction item or buy a few smaller items that can used as game prizes or packaged with other items.

“I have donation letters and flyers I can bring to you,” says Davis. “If there is anyone I can reach out to, let me know.”

“We are on our way to another successful Bid Away Hunger,” said Davis, who is working hard to top last year’s fund raising effort.

To Donate Items or For More Information

Contact Misti Davis at

bid away hunger

Bid Away Hunger

2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
March 25, 2018

Louie’s Lounge
Mardi Gras Casino
Cross Lanes, WV

2018 winter food distributions get started

United Food Operation completed its first weekend of food distributions for 2018 with a flurry of activity. Activities began Friday and concluded on Saturday.

Volunteers from the Nitro Food Pantry load pallets.
Volunteers from the Nitro Food Pantry load pallets.

Early Friday morning, food was sorted into pantry portions with help from a crew of volunteers from the Nitro Food Pantry. Earlier in the week the food was purchased and delivered to the warehouse so it could be sorted. Donated foods are also sorted. The first week’s foods included a large amount of cans and other non-perishable food from a collection conducted by Dutch Miller Auto of South Charleston.

UFO program kicked off Friday morning

Elaine Harris, UFO chairperson United Food Operation 2018
Elaine Harris, UFO chairperson, announces the official start of the winter food distribution.

Then at 10:00 a.m., Elaine Harris, UFO’s chairperson, and a group of guests and volunteers conducted the winter kick-off ceremony at the warehouse.

United Food Operation 2018
Elaine Harris (left), connie Stewart and Cliff Means

This season’s food distribution program was dedicated in honor of Clifford Means, a longtime UFO volunteer who also serves as the group’s vice chair. In recent years, Cliff has been employed as a machinist by Bayer CropScience, Institute Plant, which is closing out its operations at the Institute Industrial Park later this year.

Connie Stewart of Bayer Crop Science and Clifford Means
Connie Stewart of Bayer CropScience announces the 2018 program dedication to Cliff Means.

Cliff’s honor was announced by Connie Stewart, a manager at Bayer CropScience. During her tenure, Stewart has also done much to assist the UFO program. Since Bayer began operating in Institute, the company has been a strong supporter of UFO. Along with Dow Chemical, Bayer was instrumental in helping UFO obtain the permanent facility it now uses as its headquarters and food distribution center.

UFO 2018
Brian Aluise of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s office speaks at the kick-off.

Brian Aluise, of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s office, congratulated the group’s efforts on behalf of the Senator. He said UFO’s efforts were greatly appreciated.

Petroleum Services Corp. & MH Rents recognized

United Food Operation 2018
Standing from left to right are Chris Shinault, Andrew Ricks, Elaine Harris and Joseph Davenport, UFO board member.

Chris Shinault and Andrew Ricks of SGS Petroleum Services Corp. were recognized for their company’s commitment to provide UFO with qualified fork lift operators for the distribution season. MH Equipment of Cross Lanes was thanked for donating the use of a nice forklift. MH Rents also donated the forklift last year.

United Food Operation 2018
Use of Hyster forklift donated by MH Equipment  (MH Rents)

Local media come out to cover event

United Food Operation 2018
Jeff Jeffries of WQBE-FM interviews Alan Rezek of the St. Albans Food Pantry. Behind them, a reporter for 13 WOWK-TV interviews Elaine Harris.

Among those attending the ceremony were many United Food Operation volunteers and food pantry workers. Members of the news media were also there to cover the event.

United Food Operation 2018
UFO and food pantries depend on their volunteers.

Pantries pick up first bunches of food

United Food Operation 2018

On Saturday morning, pantry and UFO volunteers braved the cold, snowy conditions to load up pantry vehicles with donated foods. the 2018 food distribution program was officially underway.

United Food Operation 2018

United Food Operation 2018

Bid Away Hunger event set

Bid Away Hunger

Come join us for an afternoon of fun while we raise money to fight hunger in Kanawha & Putnam counties. All proceeds will go to purchase food for 12 local community food pantries.

We will have games, prizes, and a Silent Auction.


Louie’s Lounge
Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
Cross Lanes, WV

Entry fee: $5
Games can be played for a small donation.
Cash bar wil be available.
Light snacks & entertainment provided.

The Silent Auction will include items from:

  • Mardi Gras Casino
  • Auto Zone
  • Embassy Suites
  • South Charleston Community Center
  • Pittsburgh Pirate game package w/parking
  • Four Points Sheraton
  • Comedy Zone Dinner Package
  • South Charleston Memorial Ice Arena
  • Mary Kay
  • Little Creek Golf
  • Kroger
  • Sabika
  • Electric Beach
  • Home Depot
  • and many more

For more information call Misti at 304-419-1672 or Karen at 304-552-8103 or send email to .