WILLIAMSON — Facing Hunger Food Bank, through a partnership with Williamson Health and Wellness, will open a new distribution center in Mingo County and will also provide medically prescribed food boxes to those with certain health conditions.
The partnership comes as a part of grant funding received from the Pallottine Foundation of Huntington in the amount of $150,000.
According to CEO Cyndi Kirkhart, Facing Hunger Food Bank will collaborate with Williamson Health and Wellness to implement a medically indicated food box program for diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. The food bank will coordinate five food box distributions each month. The boxes will be available for pickup at Williamson Health and Wellness, at partner food pantries in Mingo County or through scheduled home delivery.
As part of an announcement event Oct. 12, Facing Hunger Food Bank also facilitated the distribution of 8,000 pounds of produce to county residents.
Amy Hannah, community resource network director at Williamson Health and Wellness, said the center is trying to meet continued needs in the community.
“Part of my job, no matter what the project is, is connecting folks together to try and make things happen for our community,” Hannah said.
Hannah said the prescription food boxes will encourage more patients to adopt healthy habits to benefit themselves and improve their conditions.
“I can tell you myself, recommendations don’t always go real far,” Hannah said. “If you write it on a piece of paper, it’s like there’s some kind of weight behind a doctor prescribing you physical exercise or healthy eating. So we are beyond excited for this opportunity.”
The announcement was held at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Williamson campus.
“This is a wonderful day not only for Southern, but for the community here in Mingo County and in Williamson,” said Pamela Alderman, Southern’s president. “Food insecurity is such a high need for us and our students. So anytime that we can partner with those who want to come and make a difference, we want to do that.”
Work is still being done on the distribution center to plan for its opening.