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Urban Mission partnering with Checker Cab for expanded Mobile Summer Food Pantry

STEUBENVILLE — Urban Mission Ministries is gearing up to operate its second year of the Mobile Children’s Summer Food Pantry.

It will operate as a nine-week program available to children on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week beginning June 17 and continuing through Aug. 14.

“This year’s program will be in partnership with Checker Cab, which will be providing a delivery vehicle and driver on Fridays of each week,” explained Cynthia Lytle, mission program and community development director. “We are grateful for Karen D’Anniballe and her staff for making this possible,” Lytle said.

An expansion plan for pantry will add four new pantry stops to its weekly delivery route, for a total of 10 pantry stops. The food pantry will operate on a first-come, first-serve basis and is free for all participating children ages 1 to 18.

Food items on the mobile pantry are made available through partnerships with Trinity Health System, along with other community contributions and sponsorships, according to Lytle. Funding for the Mobile Food Pantry is provided by Wal-Mart Distribution Center No. 7017 and the United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network.

Times vary for each pantry stop. Parents and children should check times for the nearest pantry stop, according to Lytle. Among them are:

— Ridgewood Place Apartments, Wintersville, 11:30

a.m.

— Briarwood Apartment, Wintersville, 11:55 a.m.

— Elmer White Family Units, North End, Steubenville,

12:20 p.m.

— Heritage Place Apartments, Market Square, Steubenville, 12:45 p.m.

— Earl Rogers Plaza, South End, Steubenville, 1:10 p.m.

— Belleview Water Tower, Steubenville, 2 p.m.

— Additional pantry stops are designated closed sites.

The program offers volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, Lytle noted, as help is needed, for exampled, to organize and pack items for the pantry and assist with distribution and cleanup at pantry stops. Other ways to assist include sponsoring a child or a pantry stop with a $10 donation covering one child for one week or purchasing and donating individually wrapped, child-friendly food items.

“The health and safety of our community, staff and volunteers is of utmost importance to the Urban Mission,” Lytle said, noting that in response to COVID-19, the Mobile Summer Food Pantry will implement the health and safety procedures.

“All food items will be pre-packed and distributed to children instead of children selecting food items from the mobile pantry themselves,” Lytle explained. “All staff and volunteers assisting children at pantry stops will be required to wear face masks and gloves. Staff and volunteers will set up line markers at each stop to aid parents and children in maintaining a 6-foot distance between each other. Hand sanitizer will be made available at each pantry stop,” she added.

For information on summer food pantry, contact Lytle by phone at (740) 282-8010 or by e-mail to clytle@urbanmisison.org.

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