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Pantries stocking more than just food

When the Marietta Community Foundation asked our region’s food pantries what they needed this winter, the answer was not just food. Other necessities were in short supply, too.

“So, we wanted to make sure the pantries and their volunteers are well-stocked on PPE, toiletries, cleaning products and other items to keep them safe and healthy,” said Heather Allender, president and CEO of the foundation. It makes sense of course, when most of us go to the grocery store we come home with bags full of more than just food. The needs of families who are struggling financially are no different.

It is wonderful, then, that the foundation was able to take advantage of its partnership with Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to turn a $5,000 grant into help for 13 different Washington County food pantries. Dominion is a long-time supporter of such efforts. Given the challenges of the past year, our local food pantries and other nonprofit organizations could use more.

“When businesses give locally, they are communicating that they care for their customers and their community,” Allender said.

She is right.

We know there is hope for a return to “normal” and economic revival across the country, if we are smart in finishing the fight against COVID-19. We also know regions like the Mid-Ohio Valley usually experience such economic changes later than those in other parts of the country. Even when the specific challenges created by this virus have passed, there will be others. The folks served by our food pantries need our help, now and in the future.

If you or your business is able to lend a hand — it doesn’t have to be with a gift as big as Dominion’s … but that wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings — do what you can to make a difference.

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