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Food pantry teams up with car dealership to benefit cancer patients

Updated: Monday, July 14 2014, 01:03 AM EDT

STEUBENVILLE, OH - A local food pantry is ramping up its efforts to secure goods for cancer patients in need.
That food pantry is also getting some help from a local business in the process.
Just a start-up project 14 months ago, Cancer Dietary Initiative has now doubled the number of patients serving and they only see that number continuing to grow.

Cancer patients who were in need of food were something that Don Heiss had never considered.

That’s when he piloted a six month food pantry to collect gods for patients. Once they saw the success, they couldn’t turn back.

“I said, ‘do we really have a choice now?’ We have started feeding these patients for six months and then all of the sudden we're going to tell them, 'we can't feed you now.’  I said 'we've got to try.  "
Supported solely by food drives, 14 months later they have doubled the number of patients they are serving and Ohio Valley Honda has pulled up to help secure donated goods for the pantry.
"I didn't know that cancer patients were in need,” business development coordinator Porsha Hunt said. “You think of the homeless or you think of needy people but you don't really think of middle class people who get cancer and what happens."
As a result, packing the pickup is now underway as Heiss and the dealership are on a mission to fill the bed of a pick-up truck with non-perishables before the end of the month.
"There are a lot of people in the tri-state area that need help, and don is trying to fill all of them,” Hunt said.
Before starting the pantry, Heiss never realized the need for food that patient’s have-- all while combating medical bills.
As the pantry continues to grow, Heiss sees no end in sight should the food keep coming in.
“We have been so fortunate in the whole 14 months that we have been doing this, we have not once had to take any of our patients off because we could not feed them,” Heiss said.
The pantry currently operates out of Heiss's home but come August the First Westminster Church will open up their facilities to the pantry allowing them to store items that can be refrigerated or frozen.
Anyone wishing for more information about the pantry can contact Susan miller at the Tera Mana cancer center 264-8747 or Don Heiss at 264-182.

Food pantry teams up with car dealership to benefit cancer patients

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