Food pantry’s cry out for help this winter season

"Food bank in Somerset expects busy time during holidays, then even more when electric cut-offs...
"Food bank in Somerset expects busy time during holidays, then even more when electric cut-offs and evictions start after first of the year." - Phil Pendleton(Phil Pendleton)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 5:41 PM EST
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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Local food banks are expecting a busy time not just during the holidays this year, but throughout the winter season.

Covid-19 has already made it more challenging to supply food and to provide the volunteers to pass it out.

Fear that some would run out of food translated into a busy time at Somerset’s God Food Pantry last spring.

Brenda Russell from God’s Food Pantry in Somerset said, “It started out with that generalized panic in the beginning. People rushing to get food. Lots of need going on then.”

It leveled off, but it’s picking back up again. Add that to the holidays and what may happen early next year, and you get a need that is great.

“We’re expecting though we’re going to have some big exponential increases when the electric shut-offs, the utility shut-offs start happening, evictions in the first of January,” says Russell.

There’s always a need for donations of food and money at God’s Food Pantry, but now there’s the need for people to help out.

Covid-19 has kept volunteers away, as many of their helpers are elderly.

Russell said, “The workload has been exponentially not just in that we are serving more but also in that fact that we lost more than half our volunteers.”

They’ve gained some of the volunteers back, but to operate efficiently they need about 60 volunteer hours every day. And with Thanksgiving meals and Christmas boxes being prepared it’s a busy time.

Russell expects there will be an increased need, “We know the need is going to be there. We are used to serving those in need. We are planning for a 20 to 25% increase on top of that.”

God’s Food Pantry in Somerset receives donations of food from the food pantry in Lexington and local grocery stores.

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