The Hunters receive honor

By Frank Lewis -

Mark and Virgie Hunter were recently honored for their efforts to fight hunger in the community. The Freestore Foodbank presented the couple with the Partner of the Year award during its Distinguished Speaker Series & Annual Meeting. The event took place at the Freestore Foodbank’s Mayerson Distribution in Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday, January 26, 2017.

Mark Hunter said he knew something was going to happen when the Foodbank president called them to make sure he was going to be at the annual meeting.

“When they got to that part of the program, they started reading their introduction into the award, and the lady that wrote it did one of the most fantastic jobs of putting it together, why we’re doing this, about Steven, and our faith, and how we believe this is what God wants us to do,” Hunter said. “We’re so grateful that God has given us a mission and given us the strength to do it and blessed us with a community that understands we’ve got a real problem here and there is a way to make a dent in it.”

The Foodbank president and CEO talked about the evolution of the fund.

“Mark and Virgie’s son, Steven, died suddenly from a heart disorder at the age of 21,” Freestore Foodbank President and CEO Kurt Reiber said. “They took their personal tragedy and turned it into a beautiful mission that now feeds hundreds of hungry children in Ohio.”

In January 2006, the Hunters established the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, with the goal of providing goods, services and funds to benefit school age children with financial needs.

With more than 5,000 children at risk of hunger in Scioto County, the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund partnered with the Freestore Foodbank through its Power Pack program. Power Packs are packs of nutritious food given to students each Friday during the school year to ensure they have something to eat on weekends. Five-thousand children in more than 100 participating schools receive Power Packs from the Freestore Foodbank each week.

The Hunters are currently funding the Power Pack Program in 18 different schools in Ohio, helping to distribute nearly 1,100 Power Packs per week.

“Mark and Virgie are two extraordinary individuals who have emerged as invaluable partners to the Freestore Foodbank in our fight against childhood hunger,” Reiber said.

Hunter said the award really belongs to this community for their continuing support

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.