|IAM volunteers from Local 598 in South Charleston, WV prepare food for distribution to local food banks. (left to right) Local 598 Vice President Rose Hairston, Local 598 Member Cliff Means, Local 598 Member Joe Davenport|
For 30 years, members of IAM Local 598 in South Charleston, WV have proved they care about their neighbors and that they firmly believe in the IAM motto: ‘Service to the Community.’
The Mountain State local and its big hearted members turn out every year to support an annual food drive that provides much needed assistance to more than 30,000 local residents in Kanawha and Putnam counties. This year was no different, when members donated $13,000 in addition to countless hours spent shopping, sorting and delivering food during the 10-week drive.
Each year since the winter of 1982, the union-supported United Food Operation (UFO) has coordinated the effort, supplementing the food resources of local food pantries during the winter and early spring months, which is their time of greatest need. Through the years, the all-volunteer UFO has raised and distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars of food that has helped many tens of thousands of people in the community. The food is provided at no cost to the food pantries.
“Our local is very proud to have supported the United Food Operation program for the last 30 years,” Local 598 President Jimmy Kelley.
District 54 President & Directing Business Representative, T. Dean Wright, Jr. added, “I am appreciative for the generous support of our Brothers and Sisters from Local Lodge 598. United Food Operation is a great community service program.”
In addition to Local 598, other unions involved in the UFO are CWA, USW, AFSCME, IUOE, Building Trades and Letter Carriers and local companies DuPont, Clearon, IVS Hydro and Bayer Crop Science who donates the warehouse place to store and distribute the food.