Volunteers in Rocky Mount feed the hungry after soup kitchen closes

Coronavirus is to blame for the closing

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – At the Rocky Mount Church of God, people are stepping up by feeding those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Helen Witherspoon lost her job when the schools closed and is now on unemployment.

“It’s helping a lot because I lost my job in the mix of all of this,” explained Witherspoon.

She was sitting in a car with her daughter, who is also unemployed, waiting for the wind-blown volunteers to bring them a bagged lunch, four days after the make-shift feeding station opened in the church parking lot.

Volunteers, the United Way, Public safety and Kenny Ayers, who owns NexHaul/Proline trailers, are all helping any way they can.

“Well, you know when you miss a meal, it’s tough,” said Ayers

He had asked if there was any way he could help and was told the church needed something like a food truck. He had just the ticket.

They are all working to fill the need created when the virus forced the closing of the Stepping Stone Mission Soup Kitchen, just up the road in Rocky Mount.

“We knew we had to act fast and we knew that we wanted the 290 people that she served each week to have an option for their meals,” said Pamela Chitwood with the United Way.

Chitwood estimates about 40 people a day are coming for lunch service. She expects the number will grow.

There are no income restrictions. You only have to live in Rocky Mount or Franklin County.

“It helps me out a lot. I’m a diabetic,” explained Deborah Yopp, of nearby Doe Run.

Eventually the soup kitchen will re-open. In the meantime, people can come here seven days a week for a free bite to eat.

“When we see families with children in the car because their children are now being homeschooled, and we are giving them lunch, all of these things make a difference,” Chitwood said.

“At times like this, this is when if you want to make a difference this is when you make a difference,” said Ayers.

Click here to donate https://www.uwrv.org/

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