Feeding Jackson County during COVID-19

Barbara Layton

Partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), local organizations, such as the Jackson County Hunting Heroes (JCHH), Jackson County Ministerial Association (JCMA), Jackson County Community Foundation (JCCF), and local churches have been able to feed many individuals, as well as fill food pantries in both Jackson and Wood Counties. 

The Parchment Valley Conference Center in Ripley, directed by Reverend Frank Miller, recently hosted a free food give-away in the parking lot of one of the center’s facilities. 

“I just want to feed people,” Miller said. 

Volunteers from local churches, organizations, and the community boxed up food and loaded up vehicles as they drove through the line. 

“Jackson County is an awesome community of people working together,” Miller said. “We could not do this without the support of the community.” 

In a matter of two hours, almost 200 vehicles were provided with much needed food to help sustain their families during this time of pandemic.

According to Tom Reynolds with the JCHH, the food was received from FEMA where it was brought in from Chicago, Illinois, the evening prior to the event. 

“We are blessed to be able to do this,” Ed Keen of the JCHH said.

Miller said the organizations and individuals have been volunteering their time and serving food to the community since the beginning of COVID-19. During this time, they have handed out over 90,000 pounds of free food.

According to Miller, events like the one held on Saturday, Feb. 6, would not be possible without the help of all those who selflessly give of their time to help others. 

“It shows the heart of Jackson County,” Reynolds said. “The Lord has blessed us.”