Fighting fires and hunger: Pike County fire department battles food insecurity

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Between battling the flames and keeping the community safe, the Island Creek Volunteer Fire Department found time to take on an extra project, battling food insecurity in the Pikeville community.

Fire Captain DeLisa Courtney felt a burden to give back to the people of Island Creek. So, since March, the department has dedicated Tuesday afternoons to giving out food boxes from the USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes program.

“It was just laying on her heart that she wanted to do something to give to this community, instead of us always asking, ‘Donate. Donate,’” said Fire Chief Randy Courtney.

With more than 90 families benefiting from each giveaway, Courtney said the project showed a true need for the people the department serves.

“I know we’re in a difficult situation right now with COVID going on and a lot of people not working,” said DeLisa. “It’s easy for us to sit back and ask for donations for us to run our department when the community is also struggling for themselves, to feed themselves and their grandkids.”

The department opens its doors every Tuesday at noon to give out the food and the members hope to see the program grow in the weeks to come.

“They’re just so grateful,” said DeLisa. “Just the look on the face, tears in their eyes. You know, it makes you thankful that you’re doing it.

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