Island Food Closet Asks for Help as Coffers Run Low

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By Carol Vaughn —

Donations are needed to help feed hungry people on Chincoteague, according to Craig Summers, who with his wife, Karen, coordinates the Chincoteague Island Food Closet.
Summers spoke during the Chincoteague Town Council workshop meeting Aug. 19.
Last year, during the pandemic, the food closet received significant donations, both of money and food, he said.
“It was really amazing, especially how the island came together, the citizens here. Our community was great. We even got quite a number of donations from off the island,” Summers said.
Still, in 2021, donations have dropped off, he said.
“The first seven months of this year have been pretty dry,” Summers said.
He thanked the council and the police department for their donations last year and asked them to consider donating to the food closet again this year.
He also credited Island Foods for donating more than 1,000 bags of groceries last year.
The boxes of food the food closet gives out last year cost the organization $31 each, but this year the cost increased to $39, as food prices for some items almost doubled.
The number of recipients has increased almost 50% over last year, according to Summers.
“We’re getting down to the cupboard being bare a little bit and the bank account being bare a little bit,” Summers said.
According to the food closet’s Facebook page:
Monetary donations can be mailed to Chincoteague Island Food Closet, c/o Craig and Karen Summers, P.O. Box 584, Chincoteague, VA 23336, or drop off non-perishables at Union Baptist Church, 6365 Church Street. The Food Closet is located in the Activities Building in the rear parking lot. Please place donations at the double doors.
Councilwoman Ellen Richardson asked about the status of a fuel pump at Curtis Merritt Harbor.
People have been having problems with the credit card reader for the pump, according to Mayor J. Arthur Leonard.
Town Manager Mike Tolbert said the current system requires customers to authorize the purchase amount in advance.
The town at some point will be required to install a credit card chip reader instead of scanning magnetic strips for cards, he said.
“They do not make a chip reader for that specific pump, is what we are told. We are waiting for them to manufacture that,” he said, adding changing vendors also is being looked into.
“I think with the amount of fuel that we’re selling down there it’s time to get a new one,” Leonard said, noting that during a tuna tournament earlier this summer, the harbormaster sold 13,000 gallons of fuel.

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