POINT PLEASANT — When it comes to going hungry, more and more people in this area can say, “I’ve been there.”
Maybe it was a lean time in someone’s childhood or maybe it’s now the loss of a job. One thing is certain, there are people, many of them neighbors, silently going hungry in Point Pleasant.
For this reason, Ohio Valley Bank’s Point Pleasant branch is organizing a holiday food drive for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Nonperishable food items can be dropped off at the branch starting now and will be distributed to local food banks throughout the area.
“Ohio Valley Bank is a local community bank,” Frieda Greathouse of OVB said. “The employees at the Point Pleasant Branch are working together to help replenish Mason County food pantries during the holiday season. This is our way of giving back to our local community.”
The statistics are pretty staggering when it comes to hunger in Mason County. Last year around this time, the emergency food pantry located inside the basement of the Presbyterian Church had new families arriving every week as well as new people who have never appeared to have needed to ask for food. It’s not unheard of for the pantry to serve just under 3,000 people in a year and just under 900 families - compare those numbers with the population of Point Pleasant which is around 4,500.
Though the emergency food pantry isn’t the only local food pantry, it feeds residents north to the Lakin area, and then to the county lines near Putnam and Cabell counties. Volunteers from not only the Presbyterian Church but others in the area help with their time and donations to the organization.
Employees at OVB hope to give as much food as they can to as many local food banks as possible, depending on how the community responds to the food drive. So far, employees have the drive off to a good start with juice, canned vegetables and soups stacking up on the table, though there is always room for more.