The third annual Pike County Hunger Walk took place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21 in Waverly.
Registration for the event was held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and 128 persons participated in the one-mile walk led by the Waverly High School Marching Band, Waverly Leos Club, Rotary Interact Club and Pike County 4-H members.
Church congregations and donor members who registered for the event included the First Presbyterian Church in Waverly, the Waverly Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church in Omega.
The 2018 business and organization corporate sponsors included the First National Bank, VNS Federal Services (Veolia Nuclear Solutions, formerly known as Wastren Advantage), Home Helpers, Pike County Rotary Club, Ohio Valley Electric, Oakbridge Financial, Paul Price (Attorney-at-Law), Peggy Royster (State Farm Insurance Agent) and Pike County Beef and Breeders 4-H Club (Danny and Dixie Farmer, advisors).
One hundred percent of all donations (totaling $5,045) was given to the Pike County Outreach Council of Churches food pantry, 107 West Second Street, Waverly, to feed hungry Pike County residents.
The 2018 Hunger Walk committee members included Nancy Billings and Judy Dixon (co-coordinators), Reverend Calvin Tysen (treasurer), James Clark (assistant treasurer), William Webb (fundraiser), Julie Billings (Pike County News Watchman publicity) and Zach Ross (Waverly High School band director).
The Pike County Outreach Council of Churches Choice Food Pantry participates in Feeding America, Farmers and Hunters Feed the Hungry (FHFH) and Second Harvest. The Pike County Outreach Council of Churches food pantry hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Households can obtain food from the pantry every seven days, if necessary. A three-day supply of food is given. All persons must have a picture ID or driver’s license, as well as proof of address (current utility bill, rent receipt or lease) to receive food.
Parking for the food pantry is available in legal street parking spaces or in the government parking lot behind the Court House. No parking is available at the back of the building. The Choice Food Pantry entrance door is located on the right side of the Outreach Council building.
Gifts of cash or checks should be made payable to “Pike County Outreach Council of Churches.” These gifts will be used to purchase food and pay service and delivery fees for food obtained through the Freestore Foodbank, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Non perishable foods are needed at the food pantry for distribution on a year-round basis. The most-needed foods include peanut butter, bags of dry beans, spaghetti sauce, pasta, tuna, soups, crackers and breakfast items.
All donations may be mailed or delivered to 107 West Second Street, Waverly. For directions or additional information, contact Autumn at (740) 941-7151.
A reminder to readers: Bridgehaven homeless shelter, opened in 1997 as a program of the Pike County Outreach Council of Churches, will remain open, according to Joshua Remy, pastor of the the First Baptist Church in Waverly.
Remy and other local ministers have been working together to keep Bridgehaven open and improve the Outreach Council’s current situation. Currently, 10 to 12 ministers are involved in the project, Remy said.
“I’d like to have more,” Remy said. “I’d love every church in Pike County to have a representative in the Outreach Council ... We would just love to see everybody have a part in this.”
The state’s recent review of Bridgehaven was “very complimentary,” according to Remy.
“The Pike County Outreach Council of Churches is to be commended for the services the agency has provided for many years,” the Ohio Office of Community Development report said. “Its high percentage of persons exiting to permanent destinations and exceeding the standards of length of stay is also commendable ... By providing these services, the Pike County Outreach Council of Churches is providing valuable assistance to low-income and homeless individuals and families, helping them achieve self-sufficiency and permanent housing.”
Sherry Stanley contributed to this story.