GALLIPOLIS — The Outreach Center of Gallia County is currently only distributing emergency food baskets to those in dire need of assistance, due to a drastic shortage of food that is of grave concern for Outreach officials.
Sherrie Fenderbosch, an Outreach Center board member reported Friday afternoon that the shelves of the Outreach Center are empty, and volunteers are being forced to purchase limited food items from local retail grocery stores due to shortages at other food banks where food is generally acquired for the center at a discounted rate.
While shopping at retail stores will provide a very temporary band-aid for the Outreach Center, allowing them to provide food in emergency situations, Fenderbosch reported that it is not a sustainable venture due to the cost of retail food.
“We get can’t items from the food pantries, and when we buy retail, it just eats up the money that we do have to spend on food,” Fenderbosch said.
The food shortage can be directly tied to the storm of June 29 that left many without power for days, spoiled food in their freezers and no means by which to replace the food that was lost. The needy turned to food banks, inciting shortages at these organizations throughout the entire region.
Fenderbosch further commented that any club, organization or individual can donate food in any form — frozen, canned, vegetables, etc. — to help stock the shelves of the Outreach Center. Monetary donations of any kind are also greatly appreciated.
“Anyone can bring food, whether it’s a church organization, women’s club — any kind of organization, any individual. If they can go to Save-A-Lot and spend 20 bucks, that’d be great — anything that we can get to stock our shelves until the pantries get food.”
The Outreach Center is currently operating from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. daily due to the increased summer temperatures. However, an emergency number is located on the door of the facility, and those wishing to donate after hours may call to arrange a time to drop of their donations.
“Unless we buy food retail or people bring it, we’re not going to have it. I don’t know what else to do but let people know that — both the ones who need it and the ones who could help the ones who need it,” she said. “It’s down to the bare wires.”