United Way Executive Director Philip Wenkstern updated the Martinsville City Council on Tuesday night about his organizations efforts to meet the needs of the community during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
He said that the money from The Harvest Foundation is still available to provide a childcare subsidy of $50 per week for anyone at 300% of the poverty level or below. Applications are still available at childcaremhc.org.
“To date we have 165 children enrolled in subsidies,” Wenkstern said. “We’re still enrolling.”
The emergency feeding program seeded with Harvest Foundation funds continues to operate out of the Henry County Food Pantry in Bassett.
“We disburse food every Monday from 9 a.m. until noon,” Wenkstern said. “As of August, nearly 2,000 boxes of food had been distributed.”
Despite the pandemic, the local United Way has begun it’s annual campaign to raise money that fund over 20 local organizations.
“In the midst of all of this, it looks very different this year,” Wenkstern said. “We’ve set a conservative goal of $500,000.
Wenkstern said 99 cents of every dollar raised is used locally.
In July, the General Assembly authorized localities to increase the courthouse security fee from $10 to $20. The fee is levied on anyone convicted of criminal or traffic offenses and helps fund courthouse security.
“This offsets the cost of the bailiffs,” City Attorney Eric Monday said. “It was $5 and then increased to $10 in 2007, but there hasn’t been an increase since that time.”
City Council unanimously approved the increase. Henry County already had approved the increase.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
Martinsville Police Chief Eddie Cassidy told council that prescription and non-prescription over-the counter drugs will be accepted for disposal on Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., in front of the Martinsville Fire Station in Uptown Martinsville.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Rives Coleman and Marti Gardner were appointed to represent the city of Martinsville on the Blue Ridge Regional Library Board of Trustees.
Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 236. Follow him @billdwyatt