Breakfast As Politics: W.Va. Dems Raise Money for Food Bank After Canceled Conservative Fundraiser

Mar 11, 2015

One may not expect that eating breakfast could be considered political activism. Yet, on Wednesday morning at Tudor’s Biscuit World on the west side of Charleston, the Democratic Party asked residents of the area to come out in support of a struggling West Virginia food bank.

The event, raising money for the Mountaineer Food Bank, came just one day after another fundraiser was canceled by the conservative non-profit  Go West Virginia Inc.  The Associated Press obtained an invitation to the Go West Virginia event, which called for a $100,000 donation for a Tuesday morning breakfast at the Charleston Courtyard Marriott. The invitation said donors would not publicly be disclosed.

According to the Associated Press, Go West Virginia is responsible for advertisements bashing Democrats this past election cycle and is currently running ads celebrating the new Republican-led state legislature.  

On Monday, just a day before the scheduled Go West Virginia fundraiser, Delegate Mike Pushkin of Kanawha County called on those involved in the $100,000 a plate breakfast to help save the Mountaineer Food Bank.

As the Charleston Gazette reported this past weekend, Mountaineer Food Bank said financial troubles have put the organization in “crisis management.” Last week, they told 17 workers it would be their last with pay.

The organization, located in Gassaway about 65 miles northeast of Charleston, provides about 7.2 million meals to 450 food pantries and charities across 48 counties. Approximately 260,000 West Virginians are served each month.

“Anyone who can afford to pay $100,000 to attend a political breakfast can come up with a like amount to save Mountaineer Food Bank,” Pushkin said in Monday's news release.

The West Virginia Democratic Party announced a Wednesday fundraiser at Tudor’s Biscuit World to benefit the food bank and, ultimately, Tuesday’s Go West Virginia fundraiser was canceled.

State GOP Executive Director Matt Dailer said his party has no involvement with Go West Virginia and did not comment on the Democrats' fundraiser for Mountaineer Food Bank. Attempts to reach representatives from Go West Virginia Wednesday morning were unsuccessful.

Democrats say they raised over $4,000 at Wednesday’s event, with more donations coming in online and through other sources. Tudor’s Biscuit World provided a free buffet breakfast and a box was on hand for money to be donated directly to Mountaineer Food Bank.