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Back to School Bash a success

1,154 backpacks and 1,154 hygiene packs given away

During his weekly report, Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom said 1,154 backpacks stuffed with school supplies were handed out this past weekend during the Pantry Plus More program’s annual Back to School Bash.

In addition, 1,154 personal hygiene packs were given away.

Due to COVID-19, the event was set up as a drive-through at the Mountaineer Mall.

 “We also gave out over 1,000 boxes of fresh produce and 2,070 books for students from K-6,” said Bloom, who serves as the nonprofit’s executive director.

“We’re now working with those families who weren’t able to get there, and by the calls we’re getting, we’re probably going to have close to 400 or 500 more,” Bloom said, adding “I want to thank Mon Health, United Way and all the unbelievable volunteers … This was a complete community effort.”

In other news from Wednesday’s commission meeting, a letter from Lisa Monday, president of the board of directors for the Monongalia County Teen Court program, said the program’s sole employee will be furloughed due to a funding issue.

The furlough is effective Sept. 1 and will end  Dec. 21, at which time the funding situation will be reviewed.

Monongalia County Teen Court will be on hiatus until the furlough ends.

According to the West Virginia Teen Court Association, teen court is a “second chance” justice program for youth ages  11 to 18 who are alleged to have committed a status offense or an act of delinquency, which would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult. Upon successful completion of the program, charges against the defendant are dismissed.

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