LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — COVID-19's strain on the economy left thousands of Kentuckians without jobs and needing an essential: food.
God's Pantry Food Bank in Lexington saw a 50 percent increase in requests for food in the 50 counties it serves in Central and Eastern Kentucky.
"It's not our typical pantry recipient right now, it's anybody," God's Pantry Social Worker Mary Alice Daniels said. "So people that have never needed us before, don't know how to do it."
She said for those inside Fayette County, the first step is to call the referral hotline.
"Folks call our referral line, schedule an appointment with a volunteer and the volunteer sets them up to visit a pantry and they stay in their car," Daniels explained. "A volunteer just gets their information, writes it on a piece of paper, and then another volunteer puts a box in their trunk and they're gone. There's no physical contact. Lots of folks leave their windows up and they just show us their ID and they're gone."
Those boxes which were packed by the National Guard include 5 days worth of dry and canned products for a family of three. They also include fresh meat and milk.
For those without cars who are unable to leave their homes, the Fayette County Sheriff's Department will make a special delivery to their door.
For food assistance outside Fayette County, visit their website for details in other areas.
God's Pantry said it is critical for individuals to make an appointment through the referral process in order to receive food.
"That's for a couple reasons also. The first is for safety," Daniels said. "We're following the CDC recommendation for social distancing and all that. We want to make sure that our volunteers are safe and the recipients are safe. We also want to make sure that we have enough food to serve folks, so we schedule a certain amount of appointments per shift."