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Upshur Parish House announces dates for Easter meal packages, outlines updated process

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur Parish House has announced changes to their Holiday Meal Package program that are set to take effect in time for Easter. Now families will work with a Parish House volunteer to submit an application for pre-approval.

“This comes as a result of the increased demand we saw over Thanksgiving and Christmas,” stated Isaac Casto, Executive Director of the Upshur Cooperative Parish. “We had planned for an increase of 20% from 2022, but even that left us 100 packages short. We’re grateful for the donors and businesses that stepped in to cover the difference, but we want to be better prepared in the future.

“By taking applications beforehand, we’ll know exactly what we need and be able to prepare packages more efficiently. The goal is still to provide a holiday meal package to every Upshur County family that needs one. We just want to do it in a way that is more responsible and sustainable.”

New applications are available at the Parish House. In addition to completing the form, families will be asked to provide proof of residency and income. Applications must be submitted in-person between February 12-23. Families will be notified the week of March 11 to let them know when their holiday meal package will be available for pickup.

“These changes bring us more in line with what other mission projects are doing,” Casto continued. “By updating neighbor information, we’ll be able to provide better services throughout the year – not just during the holidays.”

Easter meal packages will include canned vegetables, instant mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, baked beans, brownie mix, and an entree. Donations can be accepted between 9am-1pm at 68 College Avenue in Buckhannon. Monetary donations can be earmarked specifically for Holiday Meal Packages, another specific program, or go towards greatest need.

The Upshur Parish House, a mission project of the WV United Methodist Church, assists with basic needs for low-income Upshur County families.  Since 1992, the Upshur Parish House has offered various services and programs to its neighbors-in-need including a food pantry, rent and utility financial assistance, holiday food boxes, clothing vouchers, thrift store, newborn layettes, hot lunches, backpacks and school supplies, and referral to other agencies and community organizations.  The Parish House is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 1 pm and Thursday evening from 5 to 8pm. Its thrift store, The Clothes Closet, is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.  Approximately 100 families visit the Parish House each week for assistance.

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