By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
For the fourth year in a row, the Times West Virginian is preparing for the Gift of Love food drive.
Chuck Jessup, publisher of the Times West Virginian, is excited to be part of the food drive for the first time. He said he is glad to see the newspaper be part of the community.
“I am excited to be able to use the Times West Virginian to help out the less fortunate in our county,” he said.
Jessup hopes to bring the community closer with the food drive, and is happy to be working with others who care.
“Our role as a community newspaper helps bring all of those who give together in one large donation on Valentine’s Day,” he said. “I look forward to working with other businesses in our community to make this event a success.”
The newspaper will be collecting canned goods and other nonperishable food items between now and Feb. 13. On Feb. 14, items collected will be distributed to different organizations throughout the county to serve the less fortunate.
Over the past few years, Misty Poe, managing editor of the Times West Virginian, has seen different kinds of people find help through the event.
“I have seen grown men who volunteer for food pantries with tears in their eyes when they see the amount of food that’s being donated to their organization,” she said.
With every year that passes, the food drive’s success has grown. Poe is excited about another year with the event.
“When we started this project, we had no idea how fast it would grow each year,” she said. “I’m looking forward to another record-setting year in 2013 because the need is so great in this county.”
Having success in the past with the food drive, Poe is glad to see so many people and organizations come together to spread some love.
“Nothing makes you feel any better than to see schools, individuals, community groups and churches coming together for such a great cause,” she said. “By distribution day, we have pallet after pallet of food filling all of our available storage spaces.”
Not only is the food drive helping those in need, but it is keeping them healthy.
“We have funds to go purchase more healthy and nutritious staples by bulk for these pantries,” Poe said.
Poe hopes to have another record-setting year.
“We have some special fundraising and ‘food-raising’ plans in the coming weeks to boost contributions to the Times West Virginian’s Gift of Love Food Drive,” she said. “Check the paper for special announcements and updates.”
There are several ways someone can donate:
• Individuals are encouraged to bring boxes or bags of canned goods or nonperishable food items to the Times West Virginian’s business office at 300 Quincy St. Items will be collected Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Wednesday, Feb. 13.
• Businesses, schools or offices can set up satellite donation locations to collect items through Wednesday, Feb. 13. Times West Virginian representatives can even come and pick up all items collected.
• Community service organizations, schools, school programs, churches or civic groups can take this on as a project. Anything collected will be picked up to be distributed.
For more information on the Gift of Love, call the Times West Virginian’s newsroom at 304-367-2540.
Email Emily Gallagher at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.