Food bank taking action against hunger
HUNTINGTON -- Employees at Facing Hunger Foodbank donned orange shirts Thursday to show solidarity with those working to eliminate hunger around the nation on Hunger Action Day.
The Huntington-based organization joins more than 200 Feeding America-affiliated food banks in encouraging people to get involved in the fight against hunger throughout September, which is designated Hunger Action Month. Katie Quinonez, the local food bank's director of development and communications, said there are daily events designed to help everyone do their part in raising awareness for the cause. A calendar of events can be found on Facing Hunger Foodbank's Facebook page.
"One of things things we're doing is a Post-A-Plate initiative," Quinonez said. "What you do is you write a message about hunger in your community on a paper plate and you post it on social media and tag us. We want to do all we can to raise awareness. It's a serious matter."
The food bank also is heading out into the community to provide service in new locations. Quinonez said its mobile pantry is going to Logan County for the first time later this month, further expanding the range serviced by the food bank.
Cynthia Kirkhart, the food bank's executive director, said it's also important to take an active role in spreading awareness. She said that's one of the reasons she's taking the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program challenge.
"I'm going to have to find out how to live for four days on $4.50 a day," Kirkhart said. "That's the expectation of someone who receives SNAP benefits. The point of it is to showcase the difficulty in a healthy diet when you have so few resources."
Kirkhart said one in five people in the Huntington area struggles with hunger on a daily basis, and the food bank needs to the community to work toward ensuring no child goes to bed hungry at night, no parent sacrifices his or her own nourishment for a child and no senior chooses between a meal and life-saving medication.
The Facing Hunger Foodbank serves 17 counties in the Tri-State.
Follow reporter Shane Arrington on Twitter @ArringtonHD.