GALLIPOLIS — The Walmart Supercenter of Gallipolis recently joined with the Outreach Center in a campaign to help restock the shelves of the Outreach food pantry.
According to Outreach board member Sherrie Fenderbosch, in an act of “neighbor helping neighbor,” the management of Walmart came to their aid immediately following the recent storm that affected so many people in Gallia County, leaving them in need of food.
“They have been helping us in every possible way,” Fenderbosch stated. “They’ve been fantastic in helping to feed our emergency patrons.”
The supercenter has been helping to supply bread, pastries and other items for the emergency baskets compiled at the Outreach Center and the customers of the store have also been generously donating food items by purchasing them and leaving the food on donation tables stationed throughout the store.
Fenderbosch reported that, in the extended power outage in late June and early July, the Outreach Center, located on State Street in Gallipolis, lost all of their frozen foods. Additionally, the Second Harvest Food Pantry, where the Outreach Center traditionally purchases its food for donation, also lost all of the food that had been available to supply the 20 county food banks they serve in southeastern Ohio. The food bank, located in Logan, Ohio, had 200 cases of nonperishable food to divide been the 20 food pantries, according to Fenderbosch.
Fenderbosch reported that, with the aid of Walmart and other community members and organizations, the pantry has been able to supply food only in emergency situations.
“We’re doing the best we can. We can’t do regular food baskets, we just don’t have it,” Fenderbosch said. “However, we’ve not turned away anyone who truly needs help.”
While the initial response of the community has been more than appreciated, Fenderbosch stated that additional assistance is still needed in that, due to the shortage at Second Harvest, the Outreach Center is currently purchasing food at retail price, a situation that leaves the shelves of the pantry nearly empty.
Donations of perishable items, such as meat and larger entree items, as well as monetary donations would be of great assistance, according to Fenderbosh.
Without community help, the pantry of the Outreach Center is not expected to be fully replenished until late October or November of this year.
Donations can be dropped off at the Outreach Center located at 275 State Street, Gallipolis. Normal business hours are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The center can be reached at (740) 446-7555. Arrangements can be made for those wishing to donate after hours.