Over $800k in donations given to feed local families

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 10:52 PM EDT
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The Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust gave $820,000 to help feed families within the area.

“They are passing that money like it’s a grant to United Way,” said the advisor to Pantry Plus More Board of Directors and board member, Christine Wang.

United Way will manage the money to provide to Pantry Plus More, who will receive food from the Morgantown Food Bank. From there, they will pack the food, for what they are calling the Family Food Box Program, and deliver the boxes to the designated families.

The Family Food Box Program will provide seven days worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner options along with essential hygiene items. It will serve over 800 families.

“If you need food, you’re getting food,” Roark Sizemore, the president of the pantry’s board said. “

Sizemore said by doing mostly delivery, it will eliminate any transportation issues and allow families to deal with their other needs.

“We’re able to provide a basic need so that families can worry about getting an education, or going to that job or finding that new job rather than hunting down the next place that they can get resources from,” Sizemore said.

The thought to provide more to families came as COVID-19 became more of a reality.

“When schools closed, we immediately got together and had a meeting to discuss what we were going to do to help people,” Wang said.

Now, as the pandemic still continues, the money provided through United Way will allow Pantry Plus More to give out the family boxes until the end of July or early August.

The plans after that are still up in the air, although $70,000 is suppose to go toward renovating space in what use to be the Ramada Inn. The space will provide room for the newly formed program to run.

As Pantry Plus More provides family boxes throughout the summer, the funds should last through the end of 2020.