By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
If you tried to navigate the roadways near the First United Methodist Church on recently, you couldn’t have missed the multitude of people and cars lining the streets from around noon to 3 p.m. Earlier this year, Sandra Bohon and Stephanie Fitzwater of the Family Resource Center attended something known as the Hunger Summit. While there, they learned of a program through the Mountaineer Food Bank called Just in Time. Periodically, they will deliver a box truck packed full of goods to distribute through the local food pantry, which for Tucker County is the Hinkle House.
The Hinkle House is set up to provide qualifying individuals and families with food once per month and in emergency situations. An individual can receive three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners each month with additional items provided on an as needed basis. The pantry supplies for those by means of donations from churches, groups, organizations, and individuals. In fact, the Tucker County High School Greenhouse intends to provide their surplus vegetables to the cause as frequently as possible.
Bohon and Fitzwater coordinated with the Hinkle House to set up a delivery, which happened on Wednesday, September 25. Several volunteers arrived between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to assist with the unloading, including members from the TCHS FFA chapter, young men from the Rubenstein Center, and several other individuals yearning to help. Once stations were set up, qualified individuals signed in and made their way to specified areas to collect copious amounts of fresh fruit, canned goods, rice, beans, milk, and other non-perishable items.
Not only did the volunteers assist with the set up and distribution of the goods, but several of the younger folks were more than willing to assist shoppers in carrying their bags and boxes throughout the pavilion as well as load them into their vehicles. Cathy Hebb volunteered her afternoon at the event and stated “I enjoy helping out with events such as these as often as I can and I enjoy talking with the people who are there. Many of them know me from school. I either taught them or a relative of theirs. Being in a position where a person needs to take advantage of the food pantry or Just in Time is not a matter of choice; it’s a matter of need. It’s wonderful that so many people were helped on Wednesday due to the kind efforts and generosity of organizers and helpers in our area.”
FFA Chaplain Sidney Simmons shared her thoughts about volunteering at the event. “On behalf of the FFA members who went to the food distribution on Wednesday, September the 25, it was very touching that we got the chance to help out our community in such a way. We look forward to and are very excited to have another opportunity to help support the Hinkle House food pantry again and every one of us enjoyed the presence of the ones who came out.”