Editor, The Messenger,

Hello, my name is Roshelle Pate, Founder and CFO (Chief Foodie Officer) of the Food Soldier Hunger Coalition and I would like to thank your newspaper and reporter Cole Behrens for the Feb. 2 front page article “Community gives back with food distribution at the fairgrounds.”

Your article highlighted our need for volunteers for our “Farmers to Families” food box giveaways due to the increasing numbers of people attending the food distributions. As a result of your article, over 25 new volunteers showed up to help set up, load boxes, help direct traffic and clean up.

The increase in volunteers made this the fastest distribution we have ever had. Cars were loaded quickly as several volunteers swarmed each vehicle loading several boxes at a time. There were many students from my alma mater, Ohio University, who came out to volunteer, there were a couple of mothers who brought their children to volunteer and several residents of Athens of all ages showed up saying they read the article and wanted to help.

The outpouring of volunteer support from the community as a result of your article made all the difference in being able to serve each attendee in a fast and efficient manner. Not only did the volunteers have a great attitude and friendly smiles to everyone they encountered, many said they would be back and bring others to help at future distributions.

I would like to give a special acknowledgment and thank you to the Athens County Fair Board who has donated the use of the fairgrounds and supplied much needed equipment and volunteers to ensure the success of our weekly distributions. We could not do this without them.

We will return every Saturday in February and look forward to meeting and working with volunteers in the Athens community.

Sincerely,

Roshelle Pate

”The Food Soldier”

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