Smithfield food pantry recieves donation from Ohio Oil and Gas Association
COLUMBUS — The Columbus-based Ohio Oil and Gas Association on Wednesday added to the food products that disappear quickly from the shelves at the Smithfield Friends Church Food Pantry.
Boxes of canned vegetables and fruits, three kinds of cereal, crackers, pastas, bath soap, tooth brushes and other need items were brought in from the van that was driven by Mike Chadsey, Ohio Oil and Gas Association public relations director. He was assisted in the shopping by Aldi’s in Cambridge by Amanda Finn, government relations manager for Ascent Resources.
Chadsey said four other companies assisted with the overall donation effort, including Dominion Energy, Williams, Hilcorp Drilling and Ascent Resources, bringing the total donated in Jefferson, Harrison, Columbiana and Belmont counties to more than $2,000.
The mission statement for the pantry is to provide a minimum amount of food for 14 meals per person monthly to eligible families in a 10-mile radius of Smithfield. It is affiliated with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and the Jefferson County United Way.
Stan Dombroski, director, said that the pantry got its start in the church almost 20 years ago. Mary Joy Dillon was the originator of the help food station, he noted. Patty Wetherell started the same year as Dillon and has served as the secretary and United Way representative since.
Eligibility criteria to be able to receive food include living within a 10-mile radious of Smithfield, being able to show proof of residency and meeting federal poverty gudelines.
There are two choices for the food allotment: A prepared generic box distribution held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the second Wednesday each month or choices from the food pantry from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Thursday each month. Produce distribution is at 8 a.m. every Wednesday. In an emergency situation, including fire or flood, needed food is always available.
Donations made to help with the pantry’s needs are tax deductible, Dombroski said.
A selection of free used clothing can be found at the center from May through October, and free medical screenings of blood pressure, oxygen levels and blood sugar are available during the same period. Volunteers are available to help carry food to vehicles. Referral to other Jefferson County United Way agencies can be made through the pantry.