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Eastern Kentucky church opens new food pantry to serve those in need

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 12:01 PM EDT
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JENKINS, Ky. (WYMT) - Leaders with one church here in the mountains are going above and beyond for those in need in their community.

With help from God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, New Freedom Worship Center cut the ribbon on the Vision Food Pantry Monday to serve the city of Jenkins and the surrounding areas.

Pastor Danny Quillen said church members have hosted soup kitchens for about five years now and said it was time to upgrade.

“We’re also going to have emergency food boxes and if people need food towards the end of the month, or whatever to help them get over the hump, we’re going to do that,” he said. “This is our goal, to try to help everybody in the city and the community.”

Quillen said it was a new opportunity to help others, brought on by the church’s mission.

“God laid this on our hearts to do this and it’s a vision I’ve had for a while,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming and today’s here and we want to give him all the praise for it.”

The new pantry was made possible through support from the city and community.

“We had a food pantry before, it passed away and sort of left a hole in the community as far as the needs of the people,” Mayor Todd Depriest said. “They’ve stepped up and beyond what was going on before and they’re already doing a good job to help people out.”

Members of the church said they are anxious to get started.

“We’re very excited to help,” Pantry Manager Brenda Little said. “There are so many needy, that need this and we’re excited to get out there and help them.”

Quillen said they hope to see more congregations in the area join in.

“We want all the churches in the community to be involved with us,” he said. “Try to get in here and we all could join together, it’s not just a one church thing. We want everybody involved.”

Church members are asking for not only food donations, but volunteers.

“There’s a lot of people out there that need fed,” Little said. “It is a feeling that you just can’t leave, helping the people that are needy and need food and all the little kids.”

There are already talks of expanding in the future into another building to take clothing and furniture donations.

“Soon as we get us another building, we’ll be getting trucks in with furniture and clothing,” Quillen said. “We’ve done that in time’s passed but when we get us another building, we’re going to continue to do that. We want to expand all we can.”

For those wanting to donate food, access the pantry, help volunteer, or has information on a possible building for expansion, you can call them at (606) 831-6352.

Quillen said right after the ribbon was cut, they immediately started handing out food boxes.

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