PRINCETON — Mercer County’s commissioners have voted to assist an area meals financial institution purchase a brand new forklift simply in time to assist unload 20,000 kilos of meals.

Director Lisa Davis of the Useful Harvest Meals Financial institution appeared earlier than the Mercer County Fee’s November assembly with an $11,000 funding request. She had come earlier than the fee beforehand to ask for assist in shopping for a brand new forklift for the meals financial institution, which is situated alongside Route 20 within the Speedway space.

Davis stated that Useful Harvest has been aiding about 250 to 300 space households with their meals wants, and requests have been rising ever because the COVID-19 pandemic began; most of the meals financial institution’s recipients are on mounted incomes.

The meals financial institution has been in a position to borrow gear from native farmers, however it might probably break down and isn’t at all times obtainable, she stated. About 20,000 kilos of meals was scheduled to arrived Tuesday on the meals financial institution. And not using a forklift, these provides must be unloaded by hand.

“It’s quite a lot of work and we want a forklift desperately,” Davis advised the commissioners, including that $11,000 was the bottom worth quote the meals financial institution had obtained for one.

County Fee President Gene Buckner requested Davis if some other folks have been aiding the seek for forklift. Davis replied that she reached out to the governor’s workplace, which steered organising a GoFundMe account. She then the workplace of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; a consultant of that workplace stated the county was receiving $11 million from the American Rescue Plan program.

Buckner stated the funding request was the biggest he had seen come earlier than the county fee and whereas it was some huge cash, he understood the necessity. Commissioner Greg Puckett stated that a part of Mercer County round Speedway was “underserved,” and Useful Harvest was a useful resource for the folks there. Davis had stated throughout an earlier look earlier than the fee that the world was a “meals desert” the place groceries should not available, and that the folks Assist Harvest aids generally have hassle getting transportation.

“I make a movement that we take it out of video lottery (fund) for $11,000,” Puckett stated. Commissioner Invoice Archer seconded the movement.

Puckett stated the expenditure was allowable underneath the Save America Act, and that the plan’s funds might substitute the cash taken from the video lottery fund.

Davis stated she might buy the forklift shortly if the funds have been obtainable. She later advised the Bluefield Each day Telegraph that the meals financial institution had obtained this new gear Thursday. King Tire Service donated the usage of its truck for the supply.

“You’ve bought a forklift,” Buckner stated. The movement for the funding request handed unanimously.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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