Athens Area Residents Flood Food Pantry with Donations

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Athens area residents pushed back against the effects of last week’s flooding, contributing thousands of additional items to the Athens City School District Food Pantry. The need for food and basic necessities increased when Thursday’s flooding  forced roads and businesses to close, cutting off many families from provisions.

Flooding impacted much of Athens County Thursday. (Daniel Linhart/WOUB)

Athens County residents caused a flood of their own with the support they showed to the food pantry

Heidi Shaw, who helps run the food pantry that operates out of the Chauncey Elementary School, praised the response.

“I think people have come out so strongly to support this food pantry in general especially this week,” she said.

Never Too Young to Make an Impact

Athens High School sophomore Elizabeth Goldsberry has been helping with the food pantry from the very start.

“As cliche as it sounds, I have always felt the need to help people and this is just a great way to do it,” she said.

Shaw said Goldsberry is reflective of the community. In just one hour several families donated items.

“This place is self-sufficient, people want to come and help just like that,” she said.

Flooding in Chauncey

While the periodic flooding in Athens is highly publicized, Shaw said Chauncey floods far more often. The food pantry is prepared to assist in flood clean-up as well.

Aside from food, the pantry stocks mops, bleach, and other cleaning supplies — items often needed in a town on a low-lying floodplain.

With the small population in Chauncey, Shaw is trying to raise awareness for the town and its struggles.

“Chauncey is often forgotten about, just because it floods almost every year, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t our students and that we need to help,” Shaw said.