Food distributed at St. C. recreation center | News, Sports, Jobs

T-L Photo/ROBERT A. DEFRANK St. Clairsville police Officer Greg Clark, from left, Mayor

St. Clairsville police Officer Greg Clark, from left, Mayor Kathryn Thalman, volunteer Kaden Conner of St. Clairsville and recreation Director Sean Hanley deliver food boxes to the center for people in need. Extra food from the Belmont County Department of Senior Services is being distributed to those in need in St. Clairsville and Richland Township.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — City government, the community and school district are working together to provide some additional needed foodstuffs to people in St. Clairsville and Richland Township who are dealing with hard times during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police Officer Greg Clark said last week that Belmont County Senior Services began allowing him to pick up unneeded food boxes to give to members of the community.

“It’s from Mid-Ohio Food Bank. They drop it off at senior services,” Clark said, noting that he is working with senior services Director Dwayne Pielech to provide the food to people in need.

Many of the boxes are taken to the J.B. Martin Recreation Center in St. Clairsville, where area residents can pick up staples.

Food is transported to those who are unable to visit the center.

Clark added that as a Richland Township trustee, he also delivers some boxes to sites such as East Richland Evangelical Friends Church for distribution.

He said the city can expect about 20 boxes of food weekly.

St. Clairsville Mayor Kathryn Thalman praised the volunteer effort and assistance from the police, recreation center staff and Belmont County Senior Services.

“Everyone has worked together,” she said. “These guys work very hard together, and they have just done an outstanding service for our community.

“Some people have lost jobs. We’ve had people who have never had need before.”

Pielech said his department is working with organizations such as the Salvation Army as well as the city.

“We appreciate their willingness to help us. Through our partnership with Mid-Ohio Food Bank as well as the Salvation Army … we’ve in some instances had more product than we have seniors that are able to accept it for a variety of reasons. … This pandemic has created a lot of challenges,” he said. “We’ve reached out to some of the various villages and cities in Belmont County and other agencies that we know attempt to serve seniors.

“When we have some availability of our products, working with these other organizations we can contact them and immediately distribute whatever’s available,” Pielech said. “Now that we’ve got these additional local community partners, we can reach even more senior citizens.”

In addition, the St. Clairsville-Richland City School District has volunteered the use of its refrigeration units to store meat and other food that needs cold storage.

“We’ve offered to help refrigerate any of the items they have they can’t store themselves. It’s a team effort, and we’re just here to assist in any way we can,” Superintendent Walt Skaggs said. “We have to pull together and do everything we can to help.”

For more information, call the recreation center at 740-695-2037. For those who are unable to drive, the police department can be reached at 740-695-0123. The recreation center is located at 102 Fair St., St Clairsville. East Richland Evangelical Friends Church is located at 67885 Friends Church Road, St. Clairsville.

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