“You’re not only feeding somebody’s stomach, but you’re feeding their heart”: God’s Pantry Food Bank hosts Sharing Thanksgiving

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 9:26 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2023 at 11:41 PM EST
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LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - Hundreds of families gathered in London to collect Thanksgiving meals provided by God’s Pantry Food Bank.

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday

The Sharing Thanksgiving program distributes 1,200 Thanksgiving meal boxes to neighbors experiencing hunger throughout Clay, Jackson, Laurel, Owsley, and Rockcastle counties.

In London, God Pantry’s Food Bank made 600 Thanksgiving meal boxes to help feed around 500 families.

God Pantry’s Food Bank reported the Feeding America national office estimates over 220,000 central and eastern Kentuckians are food insecure.

This program allows families to have a positive holiday experience.

”I think what makes this particularly important and impactful is that it’s the holiday season,” Development Manager, Alex Maddox said. “I think a lot of folks, especially when you think about Thanksgiving, its gathering around a table with your friends and family and those who are near and dear to you and we want folks here in the area that we serve in central and eastern Kentucky to have that same experience.”

The program is a special way to bring community members together to address a concern that impacts one in six central and eastern Kentuckians.

“Its an emotional connection because you realize you’re not only feeding somebody’s stomach but you’re feeding their heart, you’re feeding their soul,” Jonathan Gibson said. “That’s important because you get to share happy Thanksgiving have a wonderful day, we love you and so it really helps out a reaches the community in a special way.”

Many volunteers took part in distributing the boxes to the families in need.

“It just warms my heart,” Kendra Baker said. “We had a little girl in the back seat a minute ago that was just so excited. They get to work and help prepare and this also gives them a time to spend time with their family preparing food and meals for Thanksgiving.”

Volunteers coming together to share in a feeling, Gibson said is indescribable.

“I enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner knowing a lot of people around me are also having Thanksgiving dinner,” Shelby Green said. “So if it means spending a couple of hours in the cold to give that to 600 people then I am willing to do that. It makes my Thanksgiving ten times better.”

The Thanksgiving meal boxes contained a full-sized turkey along with eggs, potatoes, onions, butter, and everything needed for a Thanksgiving meal.