CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Food security is becoming one of America’s most pressing issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, Bishop Robert Haley was busy helping coordinate volunteer efforts at his westside church, A More Excellent Way.
“God has made a way for us to have three times the amount we had last time,” he said at the church’s monthly food distributions.
Even though the food distribution is on the westside, Haley says they see people from all over Kanawha County, and as far away as St. Albans come out.
“Basically, they’re very grateful just to have anything because usually the first two weeks they can do fine, but the third week and on it’s a struggle to make it to the next time that they get any food”Bishop Haley, A More Excellent Way Church
This time around, according to Haley, the boxes had more food in them in order for them to be more lasting.
Candidates for U.S. Congress and the West Virginia House of Delegates Cathy Kunkel and Kathy Ferguson were among the volunteers there.
They say they’ve observed first-hand how real the need has become.
“It’s clear that this pandemic has caused real economic hardship for thousands of West Virginians and people are really hurting now with the benefits that have expired at the end of July, and the fact that Congress has not prioritized the economic relief that so many families desperately need right now,” said Kunkel.
“I’ve been out here since 12 o’clock, it’s not even 2 o’clock yet and they’ve already given away almost 200 boxes of food. I’ve seen friends out here, I’ve seen family out here getting food so the reality is this is something that’s touching a broad section of folks”Kathy Ferguson, Candidate West Virginia House of Delegates
While food lines have helped both to reach out to constituents to help, they hope they don’t become the new normal.
Bishop Haley says they’re now preparing for next month’s food distribution, he estimates they gave out 4 to 5 thousand dollars in food today.