Beckley political candidates conducting food drive throughout March

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Two political candidates are stepping up to provide food and supplies to those in need.

Kelly Elkins, candidate for city council, and Danielle Stewart, candidate for mayor, are holding the March for Food, a program that gets members of the community to donate non-perishables throughout the month to people in need. 

Elkins says the food drive is meant to offer support to the people most who are the most vulnerable. Anyone who is sick, disabled or otherwise and can’t get enough support deserves some extra help. 

“We’re taking up food. We’re helping people in the community, you know, that needs a hand up and not necessarily a handout,” Elkins said. 

Elkins is also concerned about the kids who are out of school. Since schools in West Virginia are now let out indefinitely because of coronavirus concerns, many kids will miss out on some of their meals. 

“We worried about them getting their meals during the week and on the weekend; so we’re just gathering food just to help our community.”

At the end of March, the food drive will conclude with a community walk, where the candidates will accept food donations and have it also serve as a public forum. Stewart says the walk will be a casual get-together for all members of the community. 

“We’re inviting the public to come in to bring a non-perishable item and then we’ll walk with them for about 2 miles down the rails and trails. And just talk about whatever they would like to talk about,” Stewart said.

Stewart also mentioned that although there is currently some fear about being out in public, she is still hopeful for a good turnout, as many people who get sick in the future will need help.

“And so while they’re not able to work, so there demand for support and food will increase. So although there is a risk that people won’t come out, we’re really hoping that people will be able to donate.”

Besides at the candidates’ own events, there will also be static locations for people to drop off food items. They are at Mountain St. Centers for Independent Living on Prince Street, Robert Dunlap and Associates on Main Street, Computer Chick on South Kanawha Street and St. Stevens Episcopal Church on Virginia Avenue.

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