The Athens County Food Pantry (ACFP) is starting a new program to deliver food to struggling families by going into communities with scheduled mobile van deliveries.

This new service is in addition to serving clients five days a week from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m at its St. Rt. 13 location, the Athens Job and Family Services headquarters, a press release from the Pantry stated.

Working in partnership with local communities, the locations are the following: Alexander Local Schools in Albany, Trimble Elementary in Jacksonville, Shade Community Center in Shade, Federal Valley Resource Center in Stewart, Amesville Elementary in Amesville, and the Waterloo Community Senior Center in New Marshfield.

The pantry will coordinate two Saturday deliveries each month, visiting each community several times throughout 2021. A schedule for the first three months is posted on the pantry’s website.

Families will need to sign up online to register for this program. Registration will open up three weeks before, and close one week before the delivery dates. Families who cannot make the delivery can sign permission for a proxy to pick up for them.

In response to 2019’s Joe Burrow-inspired donations, the Pantry board held many strategic discussions on how to better serve its current clients and embarked on ongoing community discussions on how it could effectively reach out to others who are food insecure, the press release stated.

The program was the result of those discussions and conversations. As previously reported with a portion of the funds, the board has also established an endowment, the Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund, with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

“We know that transportation is a real concern for many people in the county. We are very excited to be able to take our service ‘On the Road’ to better serve our neighbors,” ACFP President Karin Bright said in the press release. “Partnering with Rural Action, local schools, and community centers will help us bring resources to these locations and continue to grow our mission of helping to feed Athens County.”

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