CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The COVID-19 pandemic and rain showers could not stop the workers at United Way of Central West Virginia and the givers at the Country Roads Food Drive.The staff of the location off Court Street in downtown Charleston began picking up items on Tuesday morning from non-perishable foods to toiletries from cars that drove on through.“Nothing is perfect right now and things do not stop just because of a little rain. United Way is amongst those things that will be in business no matter what,” Margaret O’Neal, President and CPO of United Way of Central West Virginia said.“We will take any kind of non-perishables. You think shelve stable what you would have in your cabinet if the power goes out. Peanut butter and crackers, spaghetti, sauces, tuna. It’s things that do not take electricity and can be put on shelves.”O’Neal said the majority of the 14 United Way locations around the state are participating. Some are collecting items at a local Kroger and others using their offices. O’Neal’s branch has five counties they collect for.Monetary donations may also be dropped off and credit card payment also available at the United Way location.To receive a link to donate, text FeedWV2020 to 41411or donate by logging onto countryroadsfooddrive.com.The event is in partnership with West Virginia Radio, Pickering Associate and Kroger. Pickering and Kroger both donated $10,000 each, Pickering in cash and Kroger in gift cards.According to the United Way of Central West Virginia, food pantry traffic is up 68-percent from March and many calls come into the 2-1-1 United Way line for food help because of the pandemic.“We know there is still some apprehension about food security if it will become hard to get food. People are nervous about the food chain and food supply, so they are stocking up a little bit in their cabinets and making sure they know what resources are available,” O’Neal said.Tuesday’s drive ends at 6 p.m.
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