Square dance calling — the spoken instructions said over the music — makes participation easy. But there are other aspects — like the prevalence of gendered language such as “ladies and gents” — that can make square dancing an unwelcoming or confusing space. One group of friends in the Appalachian square dance scene are taking action to make the tradition more welcoming for all participants.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
A free monthly food drive for veterans and active-duty military will be on Nov. 3 at 200 Stadium Road in Beckley beginning at 8 a.m. Usually the distribution is the second Friday of the month, however due to the federal holiday, Veterans Day, the distribution will be the first Friday.
The program was designed to help alleviate food insecurity for veterans. Sara Yoke spokesperson for the Beckley VA Medical Center says that the rise in living cost have especially affected veterans who oftentimes live on a fixed income.
“I think with Veterans Day approaching, one of the most important ways we can honor our nation’s veterans is ensuring that they have access to the nutrition they need to thrive and stay healthy. That’s the least we can do,” Yoke said.
The program is a product of the partnership between the VA and the Mountaineer Food Bank. She says that each month the food bank in Beckley distributes around 600 boxes. However, she says that typically they don’t have enough food boxes for everyone.
“Unfortunately, there’s still a growing demand as people struggle with the economy and we have an aging veteran population that we serve. Those two things coincide,” Yoke said. “We have to ensure that we help out the Mountaineer Food Bank, you know, continuously help grow their donation network.”
She said statewide the need is even greater. Between January and September of 2023, the program has distributed 12,000 food boxes. The boxes are packed with pantry staples and fresh produce.
Check in begins at 8 a.m. and the distribution is held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. There are no income parameters for receiving a food box.