It was an unfortunate crime that opened the eyes of several people in Paden City to how desperately some members of the community are in need of help.
Paden City Police Officer Richard Barrette was dispatched to a local business on a shoplifting call and learned the suspect had just allegedly stolen baby food for her six-month-old child.
However, Officer Barrette decided not to prosecute the woman and the business owner agreed.
"Her husband was an ex-Ormet worker who had gotten laid off, hasn't been paid in a couple of months and was struggling, that's why she was taking the baby food," said Barrette. "We don't condone what the lady did. There's help, there's ways to get help."
The Postlethwhits have operated the Tasty Freez for 17 years and have always been a big part of the community. Mary Postlethwhit has four daughters and 21 grandchildren, so her family needed a lot of supplies growing up, and sometimes there was extra bread and diapers, so they give them away at the Tasty Freez for those in need. Now, they're hoping to gather more.
"If anybody would like to come in and donate baby food, diapers, wipes, canned food, any non-perishable items, winter clothes, coats, socks, boots, gloves, you know all those things for the winter," said Zoa Postlethwhit, Mary's daughter. "There is a lot of people in need right now but don't go out shoplifting and stealing, this place is going to help you. It's a hand-up not a hand-out."
This is exactly what the community did for Mary and her family when they faced similar circumstances. "I've been there, I have had daughters that I couldn't feed," said Mary Postlethwhit, the owner of Tasty Freez. "I had to leave them on Main Street in Paden City with Donnie and Gracie Richards. I had no place to live, I lived in the park. I've been in her shoes, I've been in everybody's shoes."
The Tasty Freez is accepting donations and handing them out during their normal business hours from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The store is located at 512 S 4th Ave. The telephone number is 304-337-8859.