MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of people out of work and organizations across West Virginia are feeding even more people than in recent years.
Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission Superintendent Pastor Tim Guerrino said they’ve served a lot of meals this year – 80,000 and counting so far.
He said they’ve helped dozens of men get jobs and eventually ‘graduate’ from the mission.
“We’ve had 71 of our men end up with full-time employment,” Guerrino told MetroNews affiliate WEPM Radio. “Some of them are still here. They can stay here up to a certain amount of time. They don’t pay rent. They are saving up their money so they can get out on their own.”
Guerrino estimates the mission serves anywhere from 30 to 50 folks at breakfast, 80 to 100 for lunch, and 80 to 120 for dinner on a daily basis.
Guerrino said especially this time of year, people want to help others but he cautions about what he calls “toxic charity.” He said actually buying something is better than cash.
“If you really want to help somebody actually buy them food, buy them some coffee,” he said. “They can come here and get help, get off drugs, get sober and clean and we can point them in the right direction.”
The Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission is located at 608 West King Street in Martinsburg.