Food Pantry re-opens on July 7
By Kevin Dye
While parts of West Jefferson only lost electrical power for a few hours after severe storms traveled through Madison County last weekend, one small section of homes and a local church did not get their power restored until the Fourth of July hampering efforts to feed the needy.
The storm Friday evening knocked down several trees limbs and disconnected power lines that supplied electricity to the West Jefferson United Methodist Church and some surrounding homes. AEP could not work on the power lines until crews came to remove the tree debris and with the demand in central Ohio, that meant there was nothing the area could do but wait.
That wait meant that the Good Samaritan Food Pantry, located inside the West Jefferson United Methodist Church, had to take action to save food supplies and had to cancel their normal distribution on Saturday.
“It was a little bit of a shock because we don’t usually lose our power,” pantry director Susan Maggard said. “My husband and I took the 400 pounds of meat we have to our basement and stored it in a freezer. It could have been so much worse.”
The church was able to run one extension line from a utility line outside that gave the church some power. That helped save the day for a planned wedding last Saturday. However, the food pantry had to be closed on Saturday and they were already scheduled to be closed on Wednesday for the July 4th holiday. While things are somewhat back to normal, Maggard believes that some families may be running low on needed food supplies.
“Last Saturday was going to be a big pantry day because we weren’t open for the 4th,” Maggard said. “We serve about 70 families a week and that’s been pretty consistent this summer.”
The food pantry was also fortunate that none of their equipment was damaged during the storm and they look forward to serving people this Saturday, July 7.
“We did not have any equipment damaged, both our freezers are brand new,” Maggard said. “We keep a close eye on our temperatures to make sure everything is going well. We will have plenty of can goods and meat Saturday, but produce and bread items will be limited and there will be no sweets. We are doing pretty well now, all things considered.”
The Good Samaritan Food Pantry distributes food boxes from the West Jefferson United Methodist Church (36 S. Center Street) on Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. and on Saturday from 10-11 a.m. The pantry serves residents from the West Jefferson and Galloway areas. Recipients can use the pantry twice a month and they should bring a photo ID and a piece of mail to prove residency.
For more information or to donate to the pantry, call (614) 879-8130.