Crosslines upgrades food pantry thanks to grant

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BUCKHANNON —Although food pantries give out much to the community, sometimes they need some help as well.

Crosslines Food Pantry at the Upshur Parish House is one of 32 agencies that received capacity building materials from a $50,000 grant provided to Mountaineer Food Bank from Walmart.

Crosslines already has its new freezer in use — it is holding food for the upcoming Christmas Day Dinner that will be at Chapel Hill UMC — and on Tuesday, it received several smaller items.

Jesse Turner-Cooper, store donation coordinator with Mountaineer Food Bank, said Crosslines was receiving a cooler, four freezer blankets, a scale, some thermometers and a USB for safe keeping of the reports that the agency has to file.

Rev. Alicia Rapking, director of the Upshur Parish House and Crosslines Food Pantry, said the items were all appreciated. 

“We get used freezers and they are great, but to get a brand new freezer that was tremendous,” she said.

The other items such as the cooler and freezer blankets will also be a help.

“It’s all about food safety and making sure the food we get from Walmart to here is still safe,” she said. “We only have a 10-minute drive but you know what, on the 97-degree days in the summer, some of that produce can be affected. We can also use that for other things when we are distributing food.”

Jackey Lewis, representing Walmart, said, “We just appreciate our partnerships.”

The $50,000 grant is just the latest in help that Walmart gives to the food bank which in turn helps its agencies, according to Turner-Cooper.

“Walmart to date has donated over six million pounds of food to our agencies,” she said.

Rapking added, “The Crosslines Food Pantry is so grateful to Walmart because what you give us every week goes out in individual food packages for families and sometimes we are able to incorporate the ingredients in our meals that we serve here three days a week.

“The produce is really good,” she said. “That’s one thing which is really expensive and you can’t just buy it if you want it.”

This past summer, Crosslines served salad luncheons on Wednesdays with fresh produce.

“Our neighbors loved that and they keep asking when we are going to do that again,” she said.

Becky Conrad with Mountaineer Food Bank, said that is a challenge to have enough produce to distribute.

“We cover 38 counties and we have close to 500 feeding programs so we struggle to get that out,” she said. “Building those partnerships with the communities and with Walmart is a God-send.”

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