VINTON — God’s Hands at Work, a local pantry, was recently awarded a grant from the Gallia County Community Foundation to increase their services through a mobile food pantry.
The pantry’s service center, which is located at 68 Keystone Road in Vinton, is expanding their offerings by implementing a mobile food pantry, said organization President Lisa Carroll. God’s Hands at Work serves Gallia, Jackson, Meigs and Vinton Counties in Ohio, as well as Mason County in West Virginia.
“Doing a mobile food pantry is something that’s really been on our hearts for several years,” Carroll said. “For at least the last three or four years, we’ve been wanting to get out there and do a mobile food pantry to reach folks in outlying areas of the county that we serve — the ones who can’t get to our service center.”
Carroll said with the grant, God’s Hands at Work was able to purchase six large coolers to put in their box trailer. With donated money from a Gallia County township, the organization purchased frozen meat to add for the mobile pantry boxes.
God’s Hands at Work held the first mobile food pantry in February, where Carroll said they passed out 50 food boxes. On March 27, the mobile pantry will be back in the Gallia Community, near Oak Hill, Carroll said. Carroll said the pantry will be out on the last Saturday of each month at 1 p.m.
In the coming months, Carroll said the plan is to add some other locations in Gallia County. God’s Hands at Work also received a similar grant to provide a mobile food pantry service in Meigs County.
“We say we’re kind of being the church without walls and taking [products] out to them,” Carroll said.
When making the food boxes, Carroll said the meals are planned out so all the ingredients are included. Each box contains enough food for three meals per day for one week. Recipe cards are also included for some meals.
The pantry accepts donations of items or monetary donations to purchase food. Carroll said the cost for each mobile food pantry event is approximately $3,000. Monetary donations can be sent to P.O. Box 67, Vinton, OH 45686.
Due to the pandemic, God’s Hands at Work is unable to receive food from food banks because there is a shortage from such a need in communities. Carroll said in the first four weeks of the pandemic, the pantry went through over eight months worth of food.
God’s Hands at Work also offers assistance with other items such as clothing, personal hygiene items, household items, baby items, etc.
“We try to do things where we see the need,” Carroll said. “That’s our goal, to pick up the need.”
The service center in Vinton is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and can be reached at (740) 645-7609.
The grant was a partnership of the Gallia County Community Foundation and the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.