The Mountaineer Food Bank, located in Gassaway, is now in its 20th year of providing food to pantries all across the state. Its services to West Virginia's needy families -- and there are many -- are invaluable.
The food bank distributed more than 4 million pounds of food products to 48 counties last year. For many working families who come up short at the end of the month, that extra bag of groceries can be just what is needed to survive.
Carla Nardella, executive director of the Mountaineer Food Bank, says she someday hopes to find other work: "I'd like to be able to close the doors forever and walk away. We'd all like to see there be no more hunger at all, but as long as there are people who need us, we're happy to be here doing what we can."
Alas, her work is not done. When West Virginia fails to fully enjoy a national economic boom, and when it suffers downturns harder than most, there will always be a need for some extra help for the state's low-income families. It's good to know, at least, that the Mountaineer Food Bank will be there, lending a hand.