The Cabell County Bar Association took nearly $6,000 in donations to Cliff's Closet, the food pantry operated within Huntington High School.
Kendra Huff, the president of the association and an attorney with Huntington's Nelson Mullins office, said each year for the last four or five years, the bar association has taken up monetary donations and canned goods donations for the food pantry.
"We ask our members to bring canned goods or monetary donations to our final year-end meeting and they consistently turn out and bring both," Huff said in an interview. "Primarily it’s monetary donations, but there’s some who continue to bring things. This, by far, this year was the most we’ve ever gotten."
Kendra Huff | Nelson Mullins website
Huff said the last two years, the bar association has matched whatever the members bring dollar for dollar.
"We’ve done the match for the last two years and it has enabled us to donate a whole lot more than we have previously," Huff said. "This year we initially had $4,500, but then we had several other donations come in, so it’s actually almost $6,000. We were able to really stock up the food pantry and they are so appreciative."
Huff said it's always a fun day when they take the donations because members go get the groceries and take them to the school, where the students come out and help them carry it all in.
"They are just so thankful, whether they use it or their peers use it," Huff said. "They know there is a need at their school. They help us bring it in and then the students and the folks in charge of the pantry make it look nice and go through what they have and what they need."
Huff said the tradition of donating to the food pantry began with an administrative assistant for the bar association whose children went to Huntington High.
"She came up with the idea and then the bar association ran with it," Huff said. "There is certainly a need and we see the need every year when we go in and deliver the groceries. Sometimes the shelves are bare and we hear the stories from those who run the food pantry and some of it is heartbreaking."
Huff said no child should go without food.
"The way they distribute it is, a lot of the time faculty and staff will leave the pantry open and students can come in and get what they need and slip it in their backpack," Huff said. "The idea is, especially this time of year when school will close for the next two weeks, we want these kids to be provided for. As attorneys, we are blessed and there is a need in our community for this assistance and we hope we put a dent in it."
Huff said the members vote to make the match in donations.
"I think that goes to the generosity of the attorneys in Cabell County," Huff said. "I want to make sure the bar association and its members get the recognition they deserve."