ASHVILLE — The Ashville Food Pantry, with the help of the Teays Valley Soccer Program, have moved their stocks into the new building just a few doors down from the old location.
Crews broke ground in early August on the structure and while there is some work to do still, they were able to move their food from their old location to the new one. Earlier in the year, they began fundraising the $250,000 needed to build the structure.
Thecala Accord, co-coordinator for the pantry, said it would have taken weeks for the staff to move the items without the help of the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams and coaches.
“We touched the food like 10 times,” Accord said. “[Teays Valley Boys’ Soccer Coach Shane Harber] has always wanted to help and I thought this would be perfect. The community has been amazing and Teays Valley has been amazing.”
Accord said Teays Valley is planning more food donations with a recent drive at the high school and a planned food drive at South Bloomfield.
“Our first distribution in November is our largest non-holiday distribution,” she said. “We’ll do 100-plus clients that day.”
Harber said he was glad that the students in the soccer program could help.
“Coach [Jason] Herbert and I are always looking for ways to give back to the community and this is something we’ve wanted to help out with as much as possible,” he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for us at the end of the season to get everyone together and try to move everything over for them.”
Harber said about half of both boys’ and girls’ programs were present at the event.
“We’ve got a great group of kids that, whenever we ask for help, they’re always willing to help,” he said. “We can always have a good time with it and that’s why I think they always come out.”
The food pantry was first started in 1982 by Inga and Pastor David Koch and since then, local churches have established an executive board that oversees operations for the pantry, which is funded entirely by donations and run by volunteers.
From 2010 to 2019, more than 33,000 meals were served to their mostly senior clientele.
A ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration is scheduled for the new building on Nov. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.