1/12/2018 2:28:00 PM Southeast Ohio Foodbank representative informs Wellston Council of programs
Southeast Ohio Foodbank representative Mallory Ferguson (pictured) was present for the Thursday, Dec. 7 meeting of Wellston City Council to go over a number of programs available through the organization for those that qualify. (Telegram Photo By Phillip Buffington)
Southeast Ohio Foodbank representative Mallory Ferguson recently addressed members of Wellston City Council regarding the numerous programs that may be available to those residents in the area that qualify.
During the Thursday, Dec. 7 meeting, Ferguson explained the Southeast Ohio Foodbank is a non-profit organization that operates under the umbrella of Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action. She said the group serves a 10-county area in Southeast Ohio, including Jackson and Vinton counties. The foodbank distributes food that is government-funded, donated and purchased to more than 60 member agencies.
Currently, Ferguson estimated that one in six adults and one in four children in the 10-county area are considered "food insecure," meaning they are uncertain as to where their next meal will come from. One of the biggest challenges in serving rural areas, she explained, is the amount of time it takes to visit food pantries. Ferguson stated it can take up to seven hours to visit just 10 food pantries. One effort the group has taken to remedy this problem is the implementation of mobile food pantries, for which 2017 was the pilot year. In doing this, Ferguson stated the foodbank uses a semi-truck loaded with 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of food and takes it to underserved areas.
Jackson County has one of the largest numbers of food pantries in the region, with seven. This is definitely a good thing, considering the fact that according to 2014 estimates, more than 45 percent of the county's population has incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Ferguson left a number of informational flyers with Wellston Council members about the foodbank's programs, one of which is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. She explained this program, which provides seniors ages 60 and up with basic, protein-rich foods in the form of a monthly box, is currently accepting applications.
Those interested in inquiring about eligibility requirements for this or any of the other programs offered through the Southeast Ohio Foodbank, are encouraged to call 740-385-6813 or visit www.hapcap.org/foodbank.
In other business
Council adopted Ordinance 2017-40, an ordinance approving additional appropriations in the city's garbage fund, in emergency fashion.