Food bank serves hundreds

Staff Writer

The Wapakoneta High School parking lot was packed with cars waiting in line early Wednesday afternoon as their occupants lined up to receive food from the West Ohio Food Bank.
Lines started forming at noon and distribution started at 1 p.m. National Guard Captain Erica Anderson said they planned for 700 people to arrive and divided portions accordingly at each station.
Recipients received canned soup, beans, produce, chicken strips, and watermelon among other items. Bath and Body Works had donated soap to be distributed.
The National Guard, deployed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine earlier this month, has sent soldiers to help staff the food bank based in Lima.
“This is what we signed up to do,” Anderson said. “People are happy to be here.”
Jason Aldrich, director of donor relations for the food bank, said they have been distributing food almost every day of the week.
With increased distribution comes increase need. Aldrich said the food bank is accepting food donation and is also encouraging people to make monetary donations.
The food distribution was hosted by St. Paul United Church of Christ. Pastor Becky Sunday said she saw a need for a food distribution because food pantry access has changed since the pandemic.
In addition, her church is now offering a drive-through hot meal pick up on Tuesdays 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul.
Sunday had heard about a food drop in St. Marys and wanted to organize a similar effort in Wapakoneta.
“We know as far as COVID-19 crisis goes on longer more and more folks will have a need for resources,” Sunday said.
Volunteers assisted the National Guard with registration and distribution and provided service members with lunch.
Volunteer Corey Craig said he works at Glacier Hills Campground and that his employer allowed him to come to the event.
“Too many people need help out there,” Craig said. Craig said he didn’t have much to give but wanted to help during the crisis.