Food banks are designed to serve as sources of free or low-cost groceries for other nonprofit groups that offer emergency food assistance to their neighbors in need. Using that model, we work with member agencies that operate nearly 400 programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and similar programs. However, in some communities, there is a clear need but either too many clients for existing agencies to meet the need, or few, if any, agencies able to serve as providers of food.
In those situations, our Food Bank initiates the Food for Underserved Counties program, which essentially creates a one-day per month temporary pantry in these communities. We began the program in its current format in February 2010 in six counties. Since July 2014, 14 locations in 13 counties have received service.
Here is how it works: on the day of distribution, God’s Pantry Food Bank staff load a refrigerated truck with a combination of purchased and donated dry goods, meat, dairy, and produce items totaling around 12,000 pounds. That truck is driven—often by a volunteer—to a distribution point set in advance by working with local social service agencies and elected officials in the area. In Leslie County, Ky., we use a volunteer fire department. In Franklin County, Ky., a senior citizens’ housing complex.
Our driver and local volunteers unload the food and give it to clients. On average we send enough food for 144 households and each family leaves with at least 70 pounds of groceries.
Our long-term goal with this program is to create additional agencies in these communities so we can resume our role as a source of food product and let local groups handle direct food distribution. Click here to donate to help us reach our goal.
If you are interested in supporting this program, call Rebecca Wallace at (859) 288-5325.