UFO sets 2024 kick off

UFO sets 2024 winter food distributions

United Food Operation (UFO) will begin its 2024 food distribution program this winter on Friday, January 12. The group is currently seeking financial support from businesses and individuals in Kanawha and Putnam counties to help underwrite the cost of the distributions.

The January 12 kick off event will be held at the UFO distribution center in the Institute Industrial Park. The food distribution program will continue for 12 weeks or until the funds run out, which ever comes first.

Last week, area food pantry representatives at the group’s annual organizational meeting noted that demand for food increased sharply this year due to decreased federal family food benefits, one which had been in place to help out during the COVID pandemic.

UFO’s leader, Elaine Harris, said the organization is committed to raising additional funds to support the increased need for food in the community. UFO board of directors members Matt Harris, of COVESTRO, and Joseph Davenport, of West Virginia State University, are leading the outreach to area business and industry seeking support for UFO’s 2024 food distribution programs.

Businesses may make direct donations, sponsor a fundraising activity, or may sponsor an entire week of food distributions. Persons interested in exploring a fundraising activity or to obtain more information on food insecurity in the region should contact Elaine Harris at (304) 342-2023.

UFO distributes food for families and individuals in Kanawha and Putnam counties of West Virginia through 12 participating community food pantries. UFO is all-volunteer based and operates from warehouse space donated by Altivia at Institute, WV. Last week’s UFO-2024 organization meeting was hosted by COVESTRO South Charleston.

A recently updated listing of UFO participating food pantries can be found on the UFO website at this link: unitedfoodoperation.org/participating-food-pantries/

Since 1992, United Food Operation has distributed food to the needy each winter. UFO never charges the food pantries for any of the food it provides them. UFO is a cooperative charitable program led by organized labor and industries in the Charleston region of the Kanawha Valley.