BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – On Tuesday, the Upshur Parish House in Buckhannon was awarded a Hunger Grant from the Lions Club International Foundation. The grant funds were awarded to buy a new flatbed truck for the Parish House food pantry, which is dedicated to fighting food insecurity.

The Upshur Parish House feeds around 100 people each week.

“With the pandemic, we’ve seen increased need, and because of that, then our food pantry requests have grown. We order between six and 10 thousand pounds of food every month, and so as we continue to grow this is really going to help us be able to transport that food back and forth and get it ready for our food pantry and our neighbors in need,” said Kristi Wilkerson, Executive Director of Upshur Parish House.

The flatbed will allow easier transportation of the food. Previously, food would be moved four or five times by volunteers with their pick-up trucks before the food reached its destination. The flatbed allows more room to transport food, which means fewer trips, and less contact with the food by volunteers.

The Local Lions Club and the Buckhannon-Upshur Rotary Club gave matching funds for the grant award. The Local Lions Club contributed $5,660, and the rotary club an even $5,000. Lions district 29-I Governor Susan Long presented the check at the dedication event.

The total amount given to the Upshur Parish House is $42,640. The Hunger Grant from the Lions Club International Foundation covered $31,980.