Scott Rotary donates nearly $2K to county food pantry

Holly Viers • May 18, 2020 at 2:00 PM

GATE CITY — The Rotary Club of Scott County is helping struggling families stay fed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the club donated nearly $2,000 to the Scott County Food Pantry in Gate City. Madre Forsha, president-elect of the club, said most of the funds came from a grant awarded by the club’s district, while the rest of the funds were provided by the Scott County organization.

Getting the funds

Forsha said the club received a $1,400 COVID-19 grant from its district, which is comprised of 82 clubs. The funds were to be used by Rotary Clubs to help community organizations in need.

That money, along with $475 from the Scott County club, was presented to the Scott County Food Pantry to help with food purchasing. Forsha said the funds will feed around 100 individuals.

Helping the pantry

The Scott County Food Pantry is operated by the Scott County Ministerial Association. The pantry is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and serves an average of 100 families per week, Forsha said.

“They provide a box to families experiencing food insecurity. The box includes lots of staples, canned goods and fresh produce,” Forsha said. “So we thought they would be a great candidate as a recipient, because a lot of civic organizations, churches, different organizations that usually give to the pantry — they rely totally on donations — are not meeting now, so donations have been affected, plus this unemployment going up. They are projecting an increase in need.”

Club President Wayne McClelland said the food pantry has been serving people in need for more than a decade, but this time has been challenging.

“We talked with Kevin Barnette, food pantry director, who said the nonprofit organization (Scott County Ministerial Association) is comprised of 15 or 16 churches in Scott County,” McClelland said. “It has run a food pantry for 13 years, providing items like canned goods, frozen meats, fresh produce and bread to families in need each month. He told us donations are down substantially due to the coronavirus impact, and help is needed to ensure families in need are fed.”

Making a difference

McClelland and Forsha said club members are glad to be able to lend a helping hand in a time that’s been so difficult for so many families.

“It was important to us that the money went here in Scott County, and just to know that we’re able to affect so many families in a positive way. … We have a lot of people that have probably never ever had to go to the food bank that are either laid off, or the cost of groceries is making it impossible to budget, or they haven’t gotten their unemployment yet,” Forsha said. “We feel that a lot of people that haven’t normally been affected are going to ask for help, and we wanted to be there as a safety net.”

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