By Portia Williams
ASHLAND, Ky. — The Huntington Area Food Bank (HAFB) and River Cities Harvest (RCH) recently announced their new partnership effort.
Terri Clark, director of the Ashland-based hunger relief agency RCH, said she is delighted about the new partnership with HAFB.
“I began as the director in June. I started meeting with Tiffany Tatum, the director of Huntington Area Food Bank, I think she has been there a little over a year. We started bringing each other back up to speed on our associations,” Clark said.
Tiffany Tatum, executive director of HAFB, said they too are excited about partnering with River Cities Harvest.
“We are thrilled to begin this invaluable partnership with River Cities Harvest. They have a proven track record of providing essential human services to their community. We believe this partnership will be extremely beneficial,” Tatum said.
RCH will operate as a redistribution organization for HAFB.
“We realized, although we had actually worked together, the contracts through Feeding America had not been officially submitted. So we worked with them and submitted for River City Harvest to be a redistribution agency of the Huntington Area Food Bank through Feeding America,” Clark said.
According to Clark, Feeding America gives the agency access to food that they would not have otherwise.
“We are regulated through Feeding America. This allows us to pick up the Walmart, Kroger, or any of the companies that are under contract with Feeding America. Only Feeding America food banks are allowed to go to Walmart and pickup. For instance, a local pantry from a church can’t go to Walmart or Kroger and get their donated food. Legally it protects the food stores, and it protects the agencies,” Clark said.
Clark said serving as redistribution agency saves RCH and HAFB time and money.
“By working with HAFB, that allows our volunteers to be able to go and pick up, and bring it to the warehouse here, and then all of the surrounding agencies are able to come here and get the food that they need, rather than go all the way to Huntington. It also keeps HAFB to send their volunteers down here. We are a mid-way stopping point, its a win-win,” Clark said.
Tatum said the new partnership will allow HAFB to better serve Boyd, Greenup and Lawrence Counties in Kentucky and Lawrence County, Ohio.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.