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Program provides pantries with fresh produce

KINGWOOD -— It’s all about the fruit and veg.

A new program helps provide fresh produce to the residents of Monongalia and Preston counties.

Jenette Lewis, community impact director of United Way of Mon and Preston County, said the Helpful Harvest Food Program gives food pantries and other feeding programs fresh produce.

 “We have been partnering with Appalachian Sustainable Development and the Preston County Workshop to provide the program,” Lewis said.

 According to its website, Appalachian Sustainable Development’s mission is to transition Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people to healthy food.

Lewis said there is no guideline for receiving the Healthy Harvest food that is being distributed through local food pantries.

Alix Evans, director of Catholic Charities Raymond Wolfe’s Wellness Works Food Pantry, said her organization has received and distributed plenty of food from the program.

The pantry provides food for people whose doctors have put them on specialty diets.

“It comes in boxes, and we distribute it immediately,” Evans said.

 “A lot of people are coming in that we haven’t served before. There are a lot of people in need right now.” 

Tammy Laney, director of Food For Preston, said local FFP pantries began picking up boxes of cabbage, squash, peppers and sweet potatoes every other week, beginning in May.

“I am so thankful to have fresh produce flowing to local families in need,” she said. 

“This is how you work together to fight hunger in West Virginia.”