Mid-Winter Event Creates Enthusiasm

Over $6,000 in cash and food donations were received during United Food Operation’s (UFO)  mid-winter event held on Saturday morning, Feb. 22, at its Institute distribution center.

“This will fund another week of food distributions to local pantries,” an appreciative UFO Chair Elaine Harris said. She explained that donations have been somewhat lower over the past year and the program needed this mid-winter boost.

Charleston radio station WQBE provided a two-hour live remote broadcast from the event. This is the third year the station has donated a remote broadcast to help publicize the need for donations.

Todd Mullins, Kanawha Valley Labor Council
Todd Mullins of the Kanawha Valley Labor Council is interviewed by WQBE radio about his group’s participation in United Food Operation.

Standing out among Saturday’s contributions were donations from Communications Workers of America Local 2001, IVS Hydro, Kanawha Valley Labor Council, and employees at wvOASIS–WV Auditor’s Office.

Jennifer Namey wvOASIS
Jennifer Namey of wvOASIS drops off a station wagon full of donated food. wvOASIS is the project developing the new financial management system for state government.

UFO volunteer event manager Joseph Davenport  offered special thanks the everyone who participated.

“The day was a great success with area businesses, local unions, retirees, community organizations, volunteers, and a state government agency all participating,” he said.

The day  began as a usual Saturday with loading food into the food pantry vehicles. UFO supports 13 food pantries in Kanawha and  Putnam counties of West Virginia. Unlike some food banks, UFO gives its food to the pantries free-of-charge.

United Food Operation, Joe Davenport
UFO volunteer Joe Davenport moves a pallet of donated foods into the warehouse where it will be sorted for distribution to local food pantries.

United Food Operation distributions will continue this year each Saturday through April 12.  All donated funds received before that time will be used to add additional food to the amount distributed to each participating pantry.

Empty food pallets, United Food Operation
Empty pallets shown at the end of Saturday morning’s distribution to 13 food pantries. These pallets  will need to be restocked with more food before next Saturday.