The Community Storehouse, a basic needs organization in Martinsville and Henry County, is the only one to remain uninterrupted, serving the community during the onset of the pandemic, according to a release from the organization.
Although the agency’s fundraising store closed temporarily due to the mandate from the state, essential operations have continued, the release stated.
“This is due to initiating an emergency response plan that moved distributions outdoors, stripped our programs of certain requirements, all to stand ready to serve even before the CARES Act benefits helped displaced workers and SNAP recipients,” the release stated. “Eight months ago, we were handing out gloves, toilet paper, and most importantly nutritious food.”
Fast forward through “’the year that no-one expected,’ we are still at the helm, providing essential services to our community. We’ve reinvented our Food for Kids program to continue to serve children in need while schools are closed and increased our impact on local families by tripling the amount of food they receive when visiting our facility for help,” organizers said.
The storehouse also has reimplemented regulations pertaining to receiving our services, such as offering temporary help with ‘soft-responsibility’ requirements and serves as a stopgap for most families.
“We feel it’s paramount to be a hand-up, rather than another hand-out. As trite as that is, it’s our framework for the services we provide. Even so, we continue to stand ready should any disaster or emergency impact our community, to provide — thousands of people if necessary — with food, water, and personal hygiene items,” the release stated.
The temporary closure of its fundraising store “has, of course, negatively impacted our organization. We rely on the funds the store makes, selling donated goods, to fund our essential services: our Food for Families Program, Food for Kids Program, and Food Rescue Program. Currently, we’re operating at a $26,000 deficit. Although the deficit hasn’t impacted the families we serve, we do want to remind the community that just as they depend on us, we depend on you,” the release stated.
Those who can are asked to make a monthly pledge by visiting the agency’s website or by sending a check to 4201 Greensboro Road, Ridgeway, Virginia 24148. Donations can be earmarked for the Food for Kids program. Contributors also may shop through the agency’s website for specific food items with Virtual Food Drive or donate in honor of a family member or loved one.
“We’d like to thank KROGER and FOOD LION for hosting huge food drives to impact the families we serve,” the release stated. “You can easily purchase a Food Lion Feeds holiday food box at the checkout to support the programs we foster. We always mention WALMART as an exceptional partner in our fight against hunger, for being our largest Food Rescue Program partner.”
Going forward, the Community Storehouse plans to continue to sustain and step up its impact in the community.
“Specifically, there are new partnerships and programs planned for 2021, including a mobile food pantry for outlying areas of our community, and more. The hurdle is to get us back to where we should be here in 2020,” the release stated.
Currently, a matching funds opportunity is available for the Food for Kids Program.
“Every dollar that’s donated will be doubled, up to $50,000. That will make a huge impact on the children we serve. Those kids have been identified by their teachers, counselors, or school nurses as heavily relying on the meals they ‘used to’ receive in school and it’s more important than ever we invest in — and continue to identify — children in need through the challenges these uncertain times present us,” the release stated.
The Community Storehouse is passionately pursuing a hunger-free Martinsville and Henry County. For more information, visit www.hungerfreemhc.org.