Photo by Brett Downey
Feeding Southwest Virginia came to Pulaski to distribute 300 boxes of food. They were aided by Pulaski County Emergency Management, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Pulaski County Parks and Recreation Department and the Town of Pulaski’s police and fire departments.
By WILLIAM PAINE
A crew from Feeding Southwest Virginia came to Central Gym in Pulaski on last Tuesday to hand out free boxes of food to those in need. Feeding Southwest Virginia is a nonprofit organization founded in 1981 with the mission of eliminating hunger in this region.
Members of Feeding Southwest Virginia arrived at the Central Gym at 1 p.m. Tuesday and by 3 p.m., had given away 160 boxes of food to anyone who asked for them.
“We’ve brought 300 food boxes and they are available to anyone who comes by,” said Fran Lamasko of Feeding Southwest Virginia. “These are healthy food boxes, especially for diabetics. There’s spaghetti sauce, vegetables, tuna, peanut butter, pinto beans, brown rice, oats, pasta, fruit and it’s all non-perishable. We also gave 84 boxes to Joe and Kelly [Blankenship] at the City of Refuge … they’re wonderful.”
Each box was designed to provide several meals for a four-person household.
The Feeding Southwest Virginia crew was aided in their work by members of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, the Town of Pulaski police and fire departments and the county’s Parks and Recreation Department. The help was needed as over 100 people lined up to receive their food box soon after they arrived.
“When Sheriff Worrell was elected, he was adamant that the sheriff’s office participate more in community events, so that the community knows we’re here for them and we’re here to serve,” said Investigator Brett Downey of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.
The Pulaski County Office of Emergency Management was heavily involved with bringing Feeding Southwest Virginia to Pulaski.
“Emergency Management is the point of contact for feeding southwest Virginia and this is the third event that we’ve done with them in the past two years,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Brad Wright. “They contact us when they want to hold an event like this. We identify the location and then I coordinate the local resources. We’ve done it at Randolph Park, but it seems this location is easier to get to.”
Wright spread the word for this food giveaway by putting it on the Emergency Management Facebook page and by coordinating with other local government entities, as well as Taking It To The Streets and the City of Refuge. Food Boxes that were not given away Tuesday will be given to the City of Refuge and will be distributed at their weekly food giveaway.
Pulaski is only one stop on the schedule for Feeding Southwest Virginia.
“We’ve gone all over the place for the last two weeks,” said Lamasko. “Our region goes from Eagle Rock all the way to Lee County. We were in Martinsville. There’s been another one in Wytheville today and we’re heading to Danville tomorrow.”
Her schedule is full, but Fran Lamasko doesn’t seem to mind.
“I started in June of this year and I feel really blessed to have this job, especially during events like this because I get to see the actual impact that we have on the community,” Lamasko confided. “When I was looking for a job, I just really wanted something that would be fulfilling and helpful to people. And I just feel really lucky to be in this position right now.”