LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Hundreds of families across central Kentucky are still in need of food assistance. God's Pantry Food Bank has been a life-line since the pandemic began, but due to COVID-19, their biggest single-day fundraiser has been canceled, forcing them to get creative.
Just this week, God's Pantry CEO Michael Halligan got the following text from a volunteer regarding a recipient of a meal distribution.
"One woman said her grandkids feel like it's Christmas when she comes home from the pantry, " the text read. Halligan went on to add, "What a joy to have a meal on the table, but imagine how painful it is for a family to look at food as a gift."
Halligan said ever since the pandemic began, the need for food has been immense. He said they continue to feed an average of 700 families a week, which is up 30% compared to pre-pandemic numbers. He said there is no sign of that changing.
"There's more that we need to do to end hunger," Halligan said.
This year would've been the 40th annual Taste of the Bluegrass. The single largest one-day fundraiser for God's Pantry brings in upwards of $125,000 to help put food on tables, but of course, due to COVID-19, that changed.
They have found a solution. It's called More Than Just A Meal, and the benefits are two-fold.
"You still purchase a ticket, it's $100 just like Taste of the Bluegrass," Halligan explained. "Half of that ticket is a donation that allows us to provide 400 meals for folks who are hungry."
The other half gets you five coupons to be used at local restaurants for $10 off a purchase of $20 or more, and God's Pantry will then reimburse the restaurants for the full price of the meal.
"This is a small way for us to help those who have helped us while we are also helping those who are hungry, " Halligan said.
Halligan said the financial support is critical. He said they are committed to helping those who are hungry get the food they need to be able to flourish, and with the help of the community he said they will do it for as long as they have to.
For more information on More Than Just A Meal visit www.godspantry.org.
If you are in need of food assistance in Fayette County, call 859-259-2308.
If you are outside of Fayette County visit God's Pantry's website, click on your county and find a list of agencies that will be of assistance.
Food distributions are done in Lexington Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:
Central Christian Church
The Community Action Center in Cardinal Hill
Saint Luke's on Alumni Drive