Community, Latest News

Mountaineer Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry serves 500 on first Preston trip

KINGWOOD — Mountaineer Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry’s first visit to Preston County saw 250 households receiving food.

According to Tammy Laney, coordinator for Food for Preston, counting all of the members of the 250 households, 500 people were served.

This was the first time the Mountaineer Food Bank brought its Mobile Food Pantry to Preston County.

The free food giveaway was hosted by Food for Preston, United Way, Craig Civic Center and the Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department.

“I am pretty positive we will be back in that area,” Gabri Bonazzo, communications director for Mountaineer Food Bank said.

“Mountaineer Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry Program directly serves clients in areas of high need,” she wrote in an email. “Through our mobile food pantry, a truckload of food is distributed to clients in a farmers market-style distribution, where clients choose what they need.

“Mobile pantries also provide food to ‘food deserts,’ where food accessibility is limited and/or scarce.

“Fresh, healthy food tends to have a short shelf life. To make sure food gets to our clients as quickly and fresh as possible, they are transported to selected locations and distributed by Mountaineer Food Bank. Mobile pantries can provide a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and baked goods to people in need.

“The purpose of this program is to ensure all low-income families in areas of high-need have access to food.”

Volunteers worked to fill boxes with fresh fruit, milk, eggs, soup and more.

Volunteers from Food for Preston, United Way, Mountaineer Contractors, Clear Mountain Bank, Mon Power and the community — 48 in all — directed traffic and loaded food into a line of vehicles stretching through the Buckwheat Fairgrounds.

Five Buckwheat Express buses, one from each Preston County Senior Center, were also on-site to collect the boxes and bags of food for local senior citizens.

“I’m glad to see Mountaineer Food Bank bringing their mobile food pantry to Preston County for the first time and I am so thankful to everyone who worked together to make it happen. Way to fight hunger Preston County.” Laney said.

Donations of food and funding to Food for Preston are accepted year-round by mail: Food for Preston, P.O. Box 1175, Kingwood, WV 26537: phone 304-379-3519 or email