Daily Bread Center Offers Free Produce in Martins Ferry

Photo by Shelley Hanson Lisa Bell, chairwoman of the Daily Bread Center in Martins Ferry, holds some of the fresh vegetables left over following a distribution of food and produce on Wednesday.

In addition to its regular food pantry days, the Daily Bread Center is now offering free produce from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays at its new location.

The center recently moved to its new temporary home — the Martins Ferry Recreation Center on South Fourth Street — after the building it was renting on Walnut Street was condemned by the city.

The Rev. David Stammerjohn, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Martins Ferry, said unlike the pantry’s clients, no identification or income requirement is necessary for people to receive produce. The produce, the types of which vary from week to week, is provided by the Mid-Ohio Valley Food Bank.

“I think it’s been well received among seniors. They like the fresh produce — they don’t mind cooking,” Stammerjohn said.

Meanwhile, Stammerjohn said the center is settling into its new space at the Rec Center.

“It seems to be working out well. We’re learning the new space and how to move people efficiently through that space,” he said. “We’re serving around 90 households a month.”

Stammerjohn noted the Daily Bread Center became a produce site about two months ago after it received a call from the Mid-Ohio Valley Food Bank.

“It was an offer you cannot refuse kind of thing. They said this is being done and we want you to do it and we took it on,” Stammerjohn said. “Most of the pantries in the area are participating in this.”

The pantry’s June schedule includes: 10 a.m. to noon June 19; 5-6:30 p.m. June 21; and 10 a.m. to noon June 23. The pantry items, which are located inside the Rec Center, are available to income-eligible people who reside in the Martins Ferry City School District.

The fresh produce is available 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and is situated at the exterior of the Rec Center. No ID or proof of income is required to receive the produce.

Lisa Bell, chairwoman of the Daily Bread Center pantry and produce distribution, on Wednesday said she had seven tables full of fresh vegetables and fruit to giveaway, including watermelons, carrots, cobs of corn, mangos, cabbage, greens and onions. By noon most of it was gone. Bell said she has plastic bags people can use to bag their produce.