ASHLAND, Va.-- A food pantry sponsored by an Ashland church is inviting those in need of food -- even folks who do not live in their city -- to reach out for help.
Linda Kennedy with First Baptist Church of Ashland said their food pantry has switched from their regular food mission to aid in the COVID-19 crisis.
"It's for anybody that needs to be served," Kennedy said. "During COVID, we took out the zip code -- it doesn't matter where you live. You don't have to live in Ashland to come to us."
In a recent study, Feeding America found that nearly all food banks have reported an increase in demand, with an average increase of 70 percent.
Additionally, 40 percent of those reaching out for help are new to food bank support, according to the survey.
"We have a normal list of about 99 folks, who are like our regulars who come throughout the year," Kennedy explained. "With the crisis period, we've probably had about 45 new people that have never been here before."
Kennedy said the volunteers are helping folks keep their homes stocked with groceries and other essential items like toilet paper.
"The main thing is that we want you to have what you need," Kennedy said. "If you just need toilet paper and soup, we have that... We need to hanging in there and we're going to get through it."
The First Baptist Church of Ashland Food Pantry is open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and on the third Saturday of each month.
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Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
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