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Salvation Army starts mobile food pantry

The Salvation Army will use their van for the next few weeks to make sure local families are fed.

Monday was the first day their mobile food pantry was available to Washington County residents. It will visit one of four locations every week through July 27.

Lt. Elisha Moretz of the Salvation Army said the mobile pantry has been in talks for a while.

“We got word and put it into action right away,” said Lt. Megan Moretz.

The mobile pantry will visit four locations so families can avoid traveling across the county to get help with food, Elisha said.

The four locations – Belpre, Beverly, Vincent and New Matamoras – were chosen because in March, that’s where the most calls for food deliveries came from, Megan said. The mobile pantry will run through July 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In Belpre, the van is parked at the Rockland United Methodist Church. In Beverly, it will be located across from the fire station. Vincent’s location is Warren High School and New Matamoras residents can get a food box at New Matamoras Elementary School.

The pre-packed boxes are more efficient for them to deliver, as taking food to many different locations can be time intensive with such a small staff.

“We only have three on staff here,” Elisha said. Their food pantry, which is still open at their Front Street location, can serve 30 to 35 households a month.

Elisha picks the boxes up on Thursdays from Portsmouth, then drives them back so they are ready for the Monday delivery.

“They are first come, first served,” he said.

If any boxes are left over, they will be given out the next week as everything in the box is non-perishable, such as powdered milk, pasta and sauce, peanut butter, soup, mashed potatoes and light snacks like granola bars.

Megan said on their first delivery day, people had lined up at 10:30 a.m. to get a box of food. The deliveries are curbside and contactless. Elisha said people pull up and the box is loaded into the vehicle.

He noted they are not checking IDs and no proof of residency or income is required.

“We just need to know how many people are in the households,’ he added. “Ultimately, the source of the food is (Salvation Army) national, so if someone passes state lines, it’s not a problem. People in need are getting fed. That’s the most important part.”

Elisha said using nutritional guidelines, each box should contain 30 to 35 servings.

“They are meant to be supplementary,” Megan added. “We saw there was a great need out there and wanted to do what we could.”

She noted families can now visit the in-house food pantry once a week instead of once a month. The hours are 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

Locations and times

Belpre:

• July 6 and July 20 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rockland United Methodist Church, 2300 Washington Blvd.

Beverly:

• June 29 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. across from the Beverly Fire Station, 204 Fifth St.

Vincent:

• July 13 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Warren High School, Ohio 339.

Matamoras:

• July 27 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at New Matamoras Elementary School, 1000 Stover Drive.

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