Candidate holds fundraiser to foster support for local farms
Senatorial candidate David Manthos held a fundraiser on Sunday, March 6, to raise money for his campaign while raising awareness and support for locally grown food.
Manthos is running on a campaign for sensible solutions to West Virginia’s drug epidemic focused on rehabilitation over arbitrary punishments, global conservation oriented policies, supplying public schools with much-needed educational technologies and resources, improving West Virginia’s mental health resources and improving telecommunications infrastructure.
His policies on drug reform are focused, in part, on attacking the root of the problem through providing adequate mental healthcare services focused on addiction and substance abuse treatment.
Manthos’s background is grounded in global conservation efforts and he holds a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies from Bucknell University.
He is currently the communications director of Skytruth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to exposing habitat degradation around the world through satellite imaging technologies. In his capacity as communications director of Skytruth, he informs the public on issues relating to human impact on the environment.
The fundraiser on Sunday brought attention to West Virginia’s locally grown produce and livestock. Of the $7.3 billion worth of food consumed annually by West Virginians, less than $1 billion is grown in West Virginia.
Manthos said he intended the fundraiser to bring awareness not only to the disparity between what is grown and what is sold within West Virginia, but also to the economic potential underlying that statistic and West Virginia’s leaking resources.
In an introductory speech, Lars Prillaman-of Green Gate Farm-lauded Manthos’s efforts to bring West Virginians up to date with newer technologies and improved telecommunications infrastructure, specifically dealing with the lack of quality internet access faced by many in West Virginia.
With a bit of self-deprecating humor, Prillaman admitted to a lack of technological savvy on his part and Manthos’s personable approach in meeting him for coffee to discuss the plight of local farmers and the need for better technology to bring West Virginia into the 21st century.
In his speech, Manthos noted the importance of local business and accessibility of their products, as well as public health concerns that may be partly alleviated through widespread availability of healthy locally grown alternatives.
Adding that West Virginia often ranks among other states in public health due to smoking, drug use, and poor eating habits-“I’m sick and tired of West Virginians being sick and tired,” he said.
Manthos also relayed the need for a strong community stressing the value of a symbiotic relationship between farmers, local businesses and their community.
After the speech, attendees conversed amongst themselves, listened to live music and enjoyed food grown and provided by local farmers.