Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Thursday thanked those who donated nonperishable food items at the West Virginia State Fair.
Early this month, singer Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. and the State Fair joined the governor's efforts to collect food items for pantries depleted after the severe June 29 storm, known as a derecho.
The State Fair set up a promotion allowing those attending Murphy's concert to purchase one concert ticket and receive a second ticket for free by donating five or more nonperishable food items. The promotion brought in more than 1,000 food items, and a portion of the contributions were donated to the First Baptist Church Food Pantry in Rainelle last week.
The governor's first two food drives collected more than five truckloads and $150,000 in donations. The Mountaineer Food Bank and Huntington Area Food Bank distributed the food to food pantries throughout the state.
"I'd like to thank Landau, the State Fair and all those who donated to the food drive," Tomblin said. "The Rainelle First Baptist Church Food Pantry's shelves were empty after the storms early this summer. This donation will go a long way in helping them restock their shelves and will mean a lot to the people in this community. I continue to be amazed by the generosity of the people of this great state who are always willing to help their friends and neighbors."
The governor also encouraged participation in his recently announced statewide day of service. Last month, he proclaimed Sept. 29 as the Governor's Day to Serve. He has encouraged all community groups, faith-based organizations, civic and humanitarian groups and governmental agencies to organize service projects in their communities.
"I encourage all West Virginians to mark their calendars and begin planning ways to help in their communities on Sept. 29," Tomblin said. "This will be a great opportunity for our state to once again join together and help others."